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Four more W.Va. counties denied FEMA assistance

Gov. Justitce discusses the recent rejections for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency during a press conference Monday, December fifth.

Faith Bannister | WVOW News

CHARLESTON The state keeps striking out when it comes to getting help from the federal government for the summer floods in multiple West Virginia counties.

Director of the State Emergency Management Division, G.E. McCabe, said the Mountain State found out December fifth that Doddridge, Jackson, Mingo, and Wyoming counties’ requests for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid had been denied. the The state made requests for disaster aid after flooding from mid-July to mid-August,

McCabe said that the state and FEMA have different ideas about how to figure out how much damage the storms caused. The state says there were four storms that should be counted as one, but the federal government says they were separate, a major factor in their denying the requests.

The state does plan to appeal the rejections. Governor Jim Justice commented on the matter during his daily COVID-19 briefing, saying that Washington politics may be partly to blame for the rejections.

“I mean, for crying out loud you know. If it rains and the ground gets totally saturated and everything, then all of a sudden, we don’t have any real relief to where the ground is able to absorb additional significant rainfall and then you have an event like we’ve had,” Justice said. “We’re pushing and we’re pushing as hard as we can. Washington can be Washington, guys… We’ll keep trying as hard as we possibly can because we do believe that we need that level of relief and we do believe we’re qualified.”

Previously, Kanawha County was turned down for money because of a flood on August 15. Only McDowell and Fayette counties were approved for federal disaster aid because of the summer flooding. Each county has received a declaration of public assistance.

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