CROSS LANES, W. Va. -- State and federal officials have completed meetings with local and state officials about the types of federal aid available to help recover from flooding following the mid-April storms. Public Assistance (PA) - federal aid to replace or repair disaster-damaged public property - is available in 18 West Virginia counties.
During applicant briefings, officials from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reviewed the Public Assistance (PA) application process. The briefings are designed to educate and inform applicants about the federal funding process.
"Several West Virginia counties received extensive damages from the mid-April flooding," said State Coordinating Officer Jimmy Gianato. "We are working with FEMA officials to get aid to the affected communities as quickly as possible."
With the briefings now complete, teams of federal and state inspectors are scheduling meetings with local officials to assess specific damages and the costs associated with repair or replacement. FEMA assigns a project specialist who will assist the applicant with project development and cost estimates. FEMA also has specialists ready to provide expertise on a specific type of project.
"Since the disaster declaration on May 1, FEMA and state officials have been working diligently to ensure local communities get the help they need to recover from the storm," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Costello. "More than $1.5 million in federal Public Assistance funds have already been obligated to the state. Additional funds will be obligated as our work here continues."
FEMA will provide reimbursement to state and local government agencies for 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges, utilities, schools, recreational areas and other publicly owned property. Certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities may also be eligible for PA funds.
In addition to PA funding in 18 West Virginia counties, funding to reduce future disaster losses is available statewide under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grants Program.
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.