Federal and state funds to assist West Virginians with flood recovery efforts have reached $10.5 million, state and federal recovery officials said this week. President Bush’s Sept. 20 Hurricane Ivan disaster declaration for West Virginia now includes 22 counties.
Federal Coordinating Officer Lou Botta of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said, “Grants totaling $10,558,178 have been approved to help more than 3,200 West Virginia flood-affected households with recovery.”
State Coordinating Officer Steve Kappa of the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services added, “Even those with insurance should register with FEMA at the toll -free registration line – 1-800-621-3362. We don’t want any West Virginian affected by flooding to forego possible benefits. There are situations where insurance may not cover all losses and those losses may be eligible for federal and state aid.”
Grants are provided under the FEMA and State of West Virginia Individuals and Households Program (IHP). The program has two parts:
The Housing Assistance part of IHP provides renters and homeowners who cannot or should not live in their disaster-damaged homes grants to obtain alternate living quarters. When possible, homeowners may receive a grant to make the home livable. To date, FEMA has approved $7,086,116 to assist 3,024 households with housing assistance.
The Other Needs Assistance (ONA) part of IHP provides grants to homeowners and renters who do not qualify for a U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loan to obtain essential needs not met by other assistance programs. Among such are disaster-related lost personal property, funeral expenses, transportation and dental and medical costs. To date, FEMA and the State of West Virginia have approved $3,222,962 for 944 households under ONA.
In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $249,100 in low-interest disaster loans.
Botta and Kappa said people with disaster-related damage to their homes or businesses should register for help by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The phone lines will be open 24 hours a day until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
So far, more than 5,207 people in the 18 counties designated for housing and other needs assistance have registered for aid.
On Sept. 20, President Bush approved a request from Governor Bob Wise for a federal disaster declaration for the counties of Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Tyler, Wetzel and Wirt. On Sept. 24, the counties of Berkeley, Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, Morgan and Wood were added to the declaration. On Sept. 29, Mingo and Wayne counties were added. On Sept. 30, Clay, Logan and Putnam counties were added for aid for public facilities only. And on Oct. 8, Boone County was added for public facilities as well.
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