|Affected residents asked to report damages at EMD.wv.gov|
|HUNTINGTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice today joined Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and other state and local officials to survey several locations damaged by flooding late last week.|
|After personally touring residential areas impacted by the flooding, Gov. Justice held a press conference at Ritter Park, where he committed to putting every resource at his disposal toward developing a solution to mitigate future flooding risks in the area.|
|“When you drive by home after home, and all their possessions – all their memories – are in a pile out in the middle of the road, and then an inloader comes in and picks them up, throws them in the back of a truck, and off they go, it’s a devastating thing,” Gov. Justice said. “A few inches of rain in a short period of time can cause tragedy in West Virginia. You look at the magnitude of what we’re dealing with right here, and then you realize it could have easily been much worse.”|
|“It’s really significant just how badly this needs to be fixed,” Gov. Justice continued. “People’s lives are in danger. They’re losing their possessions. With how we’re doing in West Virginia, if there were ever a time to work toward a solution, it’s right now.|
“We all need to pull the rope together to repair as much as we can and try to prevent this from happening ever again.”
|Possibilities being considered include a type of flood structure to help with flooding from Fourpole Creek and replacing an aging pumping station.|
The Governor and Mayor were also joined by West Virginia Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy, and many other law enforcement officers and first responders.
|Following the press conference, the Governor and other officials made their way to Wooten Machine Co. and the Green Valley Fire Department to survey additional flood damage.|
|Gov. Justice announced Saturday that he had officially declared a State of Emergency for Cabell County – which includes Huntington – as well as for Putnam and Roane counties due to significant local flooding. This authorizes the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) to use all State resources necessary to support local counties in their response.|
The WVEMD is now asking all residents of Cabell, Putnam, or Roane counties who have damages due to the recent storms to document and report the damages using an online damage assessment tool. Reporting these damages is not an application for financial assistance, but the information will be used to help determine eligibility for requesting federal assistance from agencies like FEMA or the SBA.
|Citizens who are in need of immediate resources are encouraged to contact their local emergency management agency.|
The State Emergency Operations Center is coordinating with officials in the declaration area to determine their needs. On top of the damage to homes and businesses, floodwaters also caused several road blockages across all three counties. Additionally, the storms resulted in multiple power outages across the affected areas.
|Before the flooding occurred on Friday last week, Gov. Justice declared a State of Preparedness for all 55 counties throughout West Virginia. This allowed the State Emergency Operations Center and its partner agencies to posture personnel and resources ahead of the storm to mobilize a rapid response once flooding developed.|
“We’ve got to do more,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re never going to stop Mother Nature altogether, but we can make it better.
“We can fix this. And right now is the time to do it.”