CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On February 1, President Bush declared six West Virginia counties eligible for federal disaster relief for public properties damaged in January floods.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said to date, $6.1 million in federal grant funds have been obligated for Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Tyler and Wetzel counties.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses eligible local governments, county and state agencies and some private, non-profit organizations.
These reimbursement funds, which are distributed by the state to local governments, are granted for debris removal, protective emergency measures and administrative costs. Funds are also obligated for repair and improvement of roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and parks, and other recreational facilities.
“While these reimbursement grants are aimed at helping restore funds spent on emergency services, debris removal, and infrastructure repair and restoration for these governments, they ultimately help the entire community,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer, Michael E. Bolch.
The Federal share of assistance is 75 percent of the eligible cost for emergency measures, debris removal and infrastructure restoration, replacement and administrative costs. The State of West Virginia has agreed to pay the 25 percent non-Federal share.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Food Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.