By: Beth Sergentbsergent@heartlandpublications.com
July 19, 2012
MASON COUNTY —The last day to phone in reports of damage claims to the Mason County Emergency Call Center regarding the June 29 storms is Friday, July 20.
The call center was established by the Mason County Office of Emergency Management and opened on Monday. Calls have been taken all week and will be taken from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday before shutting down. The purpose of the call center is to receive and document damage claims from residents of Mason County - these claims were to only pertain to damages sustained during the storm system which passed through three weeks ago.
Mason County residents have been urged to gather information including homeowner’s name, physical address, telephone number and type of damage the storm caused when reporting to the call center. Residents have also been encouraged to document damage with written documentation and photographs. This information gathering in an attempt to provide damage reports to state and federal officials required in order to obtain a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
This week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin requested a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government in relation to receiving federal money to help with storm recovery efforts.
In a statement, Tomblin said: “With the vast majority of West Virginians having their power restored, our efforts are now focused on cleanup and repair. That’s 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.”
Gov. Tomblin is specifically requesting Public Assistance including—debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and other needs for the following counties: Barbour, Boone Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming.
He is also requesting Hazard Mitigation funds to be available to all 55 counties.
At this time, Federal Emergency Management Agency and state emergency expert teams are conducting preliminary assessments on residential and private sector business properties. The information collected at the Mason County Emergency Call Center will be used to possibly get federal aid to help individuals who sustained losses as a result of the storm.
Mason County’s Emergency Call Center’s telephone numbers are 304-675-8686, 304-675-8687, 304-675-8688 and 304-675-8689. Officials expect heavy call volumes, therefore residents are urged to be patient and to continue to phone the call center until they are successful in making contact with personnel.