Gilmer Free Press
FEMA Denies West Virginia’s Bid for Individual Aid from Storm
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said the federal government has denied his request for individual assistance to help homeowners hit by a June 29 windstorm.
Tomblin said Thursday night he plans to appeal the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
He also wants West Virginia’s congressional delegation to arrange a meeting with FEMA leadership.
Tomblin said he wants to describe to FEMA the destruction he saw from the storm.
“I strongly disagree with FEMA’s decision to deny sorely needed federal assistance to the victims of the unprecedented June 2012 Derecho,“ Tomblin said in a statement.
The June 29 storm and subsequent storms left three people dead and more than 680,000 customers without electricity across the state.
Some had to wait nearly two weeks to have their power restored.
Tomblin had sought individual assistance in at least 24 counties, including grants and services for people who incurred uninsured property damage and loss.
“While I hope an appeal will reverse today’s federal decision, I understand there are many families struggling to recover from the significant financial impact of the storm, and I appreciate the many organizations throughout West Virginia that continue to provide assistance to them.“
President Barack Obama issued a major disaster declaration for West Virginia on July 23, 2012 that provided public assistance for emergency work and the repair of public facilities in 45 counties affected by the storm.
Those funds were available for state and local governments as well as certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis.
Public assistance and individual assistance are separate awards but both fall under FEMA’s management.