Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 18, 2012

Tomblin seeks major disaster declaration for W.Va., public assistance for Mercer, McDowell, Monroe

PRINCETON —  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin requested today a major disaster declaration from the federal government to assist with the ongoing recovery and repair efforts in West Virginia associated with the severe storms that impacted the state between June 29 and July 10.

Tomblin also is specifically seeking public assistance for Mercer, McDowell, Monroe, Raleigh, Fayette and Wyoming counties. The public assistance request covers debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and other needs.

"With the vast majority of West Virginians having their power restored, our efforts are now focused on cleanup and repair,” Tomblin said. “That is why I am requesting additional assistance from the federal government. If granted, this new declaration will provide financial assistance to our state agencies, counties, cities, towns and public service districts."

A line of severe storms, with near hurricane force straight-line winds, crossed West Virginia June 29 creating unprecedented damage to electrical and telecommunications infrastructure, with power outages occurring in all 55 counties. The damage is still being assessed, but initial estimates show the financial losses, emergency response and repair costs could exceed millions of dollars.

FEMA and state emergency expert teams are still conducting preliminary assessments on residential and private sector business properties.

Tomblin is also requesting Hazard Mitigation funds to be available to all 55 counties.   


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