State Expected to Seek Federal Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance
West Virginia Homeland Security and Emergency Services Director Jimmy Gianato does not believe the June 29, 2012 storm caused enough damage for a federal disaster declaration for individual assistance but he says it probably did for public assistance.
FEMA and the state plan to begin reviewing the damage from the Derecho wind storm Tuesday, July 10, 2012.
Gianato says although a number of homes and vehicles were damaged by fallen trees, it probably does not reach the level for a disaster declaration that would help individual residents.
He says a declaration for public assistance is different.
“Anything like public utilities, government agencies, schools—-any agency like that which incurred damage during the storm,“ he said.
West Virginia Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says cleanup of highways following the storm has cost the DOH about $14 million.
“Most of that cost was in cleanup costs, taking debris from the roadways,“ Mattox said.
Mattox is hoping for a federal disaster declaration which could provide up to 75% reimbursement for the cleanup cost.
Gianato says the state will work with FEMA to explore other options that may help some residents.
He says FEMA does not cover food lost during power outages or anything that is normally covered by homeowner’s insurance.
There are currently dozens of generators from FEMA that were sent to the state under an emergency declaration.
They have been helping out across the state with things like health care and water service.
Gianato says the generators will have to be returned to FEMA.
“Those generators are part of a FEMA cache that they keep for events just like this,“ Gianato said. “They will be retrieved, reconditioned and put back into service for the next event.“