By CHAD ABSHIRE
State and federal officials recently announced that residents of two more West Virginia counties were eligible to receive federal assistance to help affected individuals, families and businesses recover from losses sustained in the flooding that occurred between March 15 and March 31.
Help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now available in Mingo and Lincoln Counties.
On March 22, a major disaster declaration was issued by President Barack Obama for the State of West Virginia, triggering the release of federal funds to help individuals and communities recover from the severe storms, flooding, mudslides, and landslides.
Disaster survivors in these counties who suffered losses during the flooding may apply for temporary housing assistance and housing repair, among several other benefits, a release from FEMA stated.
“This funding is key for the many families struggling to get their lives back to normal,” U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall said in a statement. “Families are the cornerstones of our communities, and speeding their recovery helps whole communities rebound. I saw firsthand some of the worst areas struck by these extraordinary storms, and I am pleased the federal government continues to respond to my request for a federal declaration to expedite critical federal funding.”
“The way to get started is to immediately register with FEMA,” Charleston-based Federal Coordinating Officer Deanne Criswell, said. “You must register to find out if you are eligible for assistance. Having alerted or spoken to local authorities doesn’t get you registered with FEMA.”
Residents of Lincoln County who suffered losses associated with the Feb. 29-March 5 tornadoes and flooding must reapply to FEMA if they suffered losses directly from the March 15-31 flooding.
Homeowners, renters and businesses should apply for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA Hotline at 1-800-621- 3362 or TTY at 1-800-462-7585. Multilingual assistance is available. The toll-free line is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice, the release stated.
Applicants can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link “Apply for Federal Assistance.”
The deadline for registering with FEMA for affected residents in the added counties is May 21.