CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is searching for land to lease in Marshall and Wetzel counties for temporary mobile home parks for those who lost their homes, or saw them seriously damaged, in September's Hurricane Ivan flooding.
FEMA is looking specifically for sites that are two to ten acres in the two counties. The sites must be above the 100-year flood plain level and should be relatively flat.
Additionally, the land should have access to power, telephone, and public water service. It should have good access to public roads and basic community services, and has to be free of any contamination or mining waste that could cause a hazard to residents.
"We have exhausted our immediately available means of finding locations for mobile home parks in the Marshall and Wetzel areas," said Lou Botta, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "We are now reaching out to the public with the hope that we can quickly establish a site and provide suitable housing for families who are living in badly damaged homes or in overcrowded conditions with friends or family."
The property owner should be willing to participate in a 24-month, rent-free lease. The owner will have the option either to retain all improvements after the lease expires, or have the property restored to its original condition.
Anyone who owns property fitting the above description in Marshall or Wetzel county, and is willing to help fellow West Virginians who have been stricken by flooding, is urged to call FEMA and discuss a lease agreement for a temporary housing site. The toll-free number, 1-877-390-2885, will operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through November 12.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.