Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, today thanked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for re-considering its decision to deny individual assistance to West Virginia property owners affected by a severe "derecho" storm earlier this summer.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin last month appealed FEMA's August 8 decision to deny Individual Assistance to four West Virginia counties. They include Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh counties. FEMA previously approved federal assistance to the state because of the June "derecho." Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall wrote letters to the President supporting Tomblin's request for an appeal.
FEMA previously approved disaster assistance for state and local governments to rebuild community infrastructure. With Individual Assistance, West Virginians will be eligible for housing assistance to repair heavily damaged or destroyed homes, as well as other expenses related to cleaning and the loss and replacement of personal property.
"This is such great news. I am so thankful FEMA recognized just how tough these storms were on so many families across our state," Rockefeller said. "Many homes were damaged and lives uprooted, and I am glad that FEMA reversed its decision. West Virginians can now put this difficult time behind them and move forward with their lives."
"This is wonderful news for the families that are struggling financially after the devastating derecho hit our state," Senator Manchin said. "When I toured the areas that were damaged after the storms, I was so impressed by how people came together to help their neighbors, but no community could recover from this without help. I appreciate Gov. Tomblin's work to secure this aid and FEMA's decision to grant it."
"The derecho storm and extended power outage created severe hardships for resident and households, and I am pleased FEMA is making available additional disaster assistance to aid in their recovery. Families need to quickly check to see if their costs can be covered," said Rahall, top Democrat on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which has jurisdiction over FEMA. "I commend Governor Tomblin and Jimmy Gianato for working diligently on this appeal. I hope that it opens the door to additional aid for other individuals and families struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of the storm."