W.Va. delegation urges president to approve disaster declaration… Mason Co. winter storm damage included


Mason Co. winter storm damage included

Staff Report



Miller

Miller


WASHINGTON D.C. — Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) on Friday joined U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), as well as Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Alex Mooney (R-WV), to urge President Biden to approve Governor Justice’s request for a federal disaster declaration for the severe winter weather that affected areas of West Virginia’s Third Congressional District, including Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, and Wayne Counties, the week of February 10-16, 2021. The disaster declaration also includes Jackson and Putnam counties.

According to a news release from Miller’s office, a federal disaster declaration would grant the governor access to federal aid needed to help southern West Virginia recover from damage incurred by the severe weather.

The Members said in part, “As members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation, we write to support Governor Jim Justice’s request for a federal disaster declaration for the State of West Virginia in response to the severe winter weather that affected Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne Counties the week of February 10-16, 2021. This major weather event caused significant loss of essential services, such as power and water access, as well as, significant damage to our roadways, due to downed trees…We commend the tireless efforts that local citizens and first responders put forth during the disaster and in the aftermath to protect our citizens. Thanks to their heroic efforts, there were no reported injuries or loss of life due to this disaster, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has already strained local governments and first responders. We thank you for your consideration of this request and again urge you to support West Virginia’s ongoing recovery with a federal disaster declaration.”

Read the full letter below:

Dear Mr. President:

As members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation, we write to support Governor Jim Justice’s request for a federal disaster declaration for the State of West Virginia in response to the severe winter weather that affected Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne Counties the week of February 10-16, 2021. This major weather event caused significant loss of essential services, such as power and water access, as well as, significant damage to our roadways, due to downed trees.

On Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for Cabell, Lincoln, Putnam, and Wayne Counties, mobilizing the state’s resources for emergent needs. Two days later, on February 18, Jackson and Mason Counties were added to the emergency declaration as over 66,000 West Virginia homes were without power and over 400 were either without water or under a boil water advisory. The West Virginia Division of Highways, the West Virginia Division of Forestry, and the West Virginia National Guard coordinated with Health and Welfare teams of law enforcement officials and medics to access remote areas and aid isolated residents, many of which were elderly. Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, Ritchie, and Wayne Counties established 14 shelters and 4 warming stations for impacted residents.

To access federal disaster aid, West Virginia Governor Justice has made a request for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of West Virginia. This request was submitted April 12, 2021, under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5208 (Stafford Act). We respectfully request that you review this request for Public Assistance Category A Debris Removal and Category B Emergency Protective Measures for Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, Putman, and Wayne counties expeditiously, and give it all appropriate consideration. Based on the State of West Virginia and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s damage assessment, the damage across these five counties is upwards of $5.3 million. We also request that you give full consideration for the Governor’s request for Hazard Mitigation throughout the entire state.

We commend the tireless efforts that local citizens and first responders put forth during the disaster and in the aftermath to protect our citizens. Thanks to their heroic efforts, there were no reported injuries or loss of life due to this disaster, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has already strained local governments and first responders. We thank you for your consideration of this request and again urge you to support West Virginia’s ongoing recovery with a federal disaster declaration.

Miller
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Mason Co. winter storm damage included

Staff Report