W. Va. Gov. Tours Flood Damaged Region, Expects Federal Help for Suffering Residents

June 1, 2004

West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise on Tuesday told emergency officials in flood-damaged southern West Virginia that he is confident the federal government will authorize disaster relief money to help residents who have suffered significant flood damage.

“Our goal is to get as much disaster assistance as possible to our counties and our citizens,” Wise said. “Our first responders acted quickly, and FEMA already is on the way.”

Wise toured sections of Logan and Wyoming counties. He was scheduled to visit areas of Mingo County later in the day.

Following a first wave of floods last week, Wise issued a State of Emergency declaration on Friday for Braxton, Gilmer, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam, Raleigh and Roane counties. Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties were added to the declaration on Monday after more severe storms hit the state.

State assessment teams on Friday began looking at damage. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are expected to join the state’s assessment efforts as early as Wednesday.

Wise is initially asking President Bush to issue a federal disaster declaration for six of the 10 counties under the state of emergency: Braxton, Jackson, Kanawha, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties. Other counties would be added to a federal declaration, if necessary.

The state’s Emergency Operations Center is activated. Officials from the West Virginia State Police, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Natural Resources, the West Virginia National Guard and the American Red Cross have joined the state’s Office of Emergency Services in the EOC.

Wise has also authorized the use of National Guard troops to help with initial cleanup efforts.

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