CROSS LANES, W.Va. -- Within two weeks of the disaster declaration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency has obligated more than $1.5 million in federal funding to help West Virginia repair and replace public facilities damaged during mid-April flooding, landslides and mudslides. President Bush declared a major disaster in seven West Virginia counties on May 1, and 11 additional counties were made eligible for assistance on May 12.
"FEMA officials are working quickly to get assistance out to affected communities," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas Costello. "We will continue our efforts to help West Virginia's recovery from the mid-April storms and flooding, working with state and local officials to repair damaged public facilities."
The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is holding applicant briefings across West Virginia with government officials to inform them on the Public Assistance (PA) process. Following these briefings, FEMA meets with applicants individually to further assist with the PA applications.
PA funds are available to state and local governments and certain private non-profits to respond to and recover from disasters. PA funds may be provided to reimburse costs incurred for emergency actions taken during and immediately after a disaster to protect life and property, to conduct debris removal, and to restore disaster-damaged infrastructure. FEMA provides 75 percent of the costs of eligible PA projects, with the state providing the remaining 25 percent.
In addition to providing Public Assistance funds to 18 West Virginia counties, federal funding is available statewide from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grants Program. These funds can be used to reduce loss of life and property from future disasters.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.