Disaster Aid Approved for Ice Storms


May 13, 2021

Federal disaster aid approved for ice storm response, damages

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has secured federal funding to repair and rebuild from damage inflicted by severe winter storms earlier this year, and to recover emergency response costs.

President Joe Biden has granted Gov. Jim Justice’s request for Public Assistance aid to Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne counties, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday.

“We’re very pleased to have received this news,” said WVEMD Director GE McCabe. “We’d like to thank Governor Justice for his assistance and the citizens and local officials in these counties for their help developing the disaster assessments to make this a successful application.”

Southwestern West Virginia endured snow, sleet, and freezing rain produced by severe winter storms starting Feb. 10. These systems and the resulting heavy ice toppled trees and power poles, resulting in widespread outages along with dangerous and at times impassable road conditions.

Gov. Justice declared a State of Emergency for Cabell, Lincoln, Putnam and Wayne counties on Feb. 16, and then expanded that declaration to include Jackson and Mason counties on Feb. 21.

Jackson County was found not to have suffered damages to qualify for federal disaster aid. Officials surveyed damage throughout the other five counties the following month. Gov. Justice told FEMA in his April 12 disaster declaration request that the validated damages totaled more than $5.3 million.

Public Assistance is for state and local government entities as well as eligible private nonprofit organizations. It offers reimbursement funding for emergency work and to repair or replace eligible disaster-damaged facilities.

Thursday’s declaration also extends Hazard Mitigation Grant Program eligibility to all 55 counties. Hazard mitigation grants fund efforts by eligible entities to reduce or mitigate future disaster losses in their communities.

The W.Va. Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) is coordinating with FEMA to begin the application process as soon as possible for those impacted by the winter storms.

For more information about the disaster declaration, please visit the FEMA website.

On Feb. 27, Gov. Justice declared a separate State of Emergency due to heavy rainfall in the following counties: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Randolph, Roane, Upshur, and Wayne.

Justice has made a separate request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration due to the damages caused during the later storm and awaits the decision regarding that award.

Click here to learn more about the disaster declaration process.

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Contact Information

Lora Lipscomb, WVEMD Public Information Officer