President Barack Obama issued a federal disaster declaration on Monday that will bring some financial relief to Wetzel County.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said federal aid has been made available for the state of West Virginia to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and straight-line winds during the period of June 29 to July 1.
Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and straight-line winds in the counties of Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming.
"This is great news for too many West Virginia families and communities that are still struggling to recover after the storms a few weeks ago," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). "Now they will get much of the assistance they need to get back on their feet, and we can also rebuild buildings and roads in towns that were seriously damaged. I'm glad the President and FEMA agreed that this designation is critical for the state as the past few weeks have been hard on many families who are trying to regain some normalcy in their lives. Hopefully this will make that possible."
"West Virginians are some of the most resilient people in the world, but the massive storms late last month took a tremendous toll on our state," said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). "I'm pleased that the President quickly granted this disaster declaration, and I look forward to helping our communities as they work to rebuild our public infrastructure."
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Dolph A. Diemont has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Diemont said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.