Charleston, WV – Gov. Justice announced that he has officially submitted a request to the President and FEMA for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Cabell and Wayne counties due to the flooding that took place in West Virginia on May 6, 2022.
Gov. Justice’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration includes Individual Assistance with the possibility of receiving Hazard Mitigation Assistance and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans. The May 6 flooding event did not meet FEMA’s threshold to request Public Assistance.
While Gov. Justice previously declared a State of Emergency for Cabell, Putnam, and Roane counties related to the May 6 flooding, only Cabell and Wayne counties reached the magnitude of damages to be part of West Virginia’s request for assistance. However, if the request is granted, all 55 West Virginia counties will be eligible to submit applications for hazard mitigation funding.
“I’m very hopeful that our request will be approved and, if it’s approved, I’m hopeful that it will substantially help all the folks that we have hurting,” Gov. Justice said. “So let’s be hopeful that the Biden administration will approve this.”
The West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) used innovative technology to rapidly collect data for this event. The most significant contribution to this was an online damage assessment tool, which allowed WVEMD to collect and validate damages more efficiently and meet the 30-day window to submit the request for a declaration.
In another move toward modernization, Cabell County Emergency Management used drone footage to assist during the active disaster and the damage assessment process. Using drone footage allowed WVEMD to display the extent and magnitude of the damages to federal partners as part of joint preliminary damage assessments.