In response to the June 2016 flash floods in West Virginia, their congressional delegation has now announced that they will receive $17 million in federal grants to help with the impact of the summer flash floods. While the governor's request was $310 million, Congress is calling the $17 million a down-payment, four months later, to help the people get back on their feet.
Hurricane Matthew affected the following states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. These states are still reeling, trying to deal with the damage and the heavy flooding. While these states anticipate a four month federal lag, they will look to GrantWatch.com's disaster relief grants category and other programmatic grants categories.
Flood relief grants great "down payment" but more will be needed
John Miller - Executive Editor, The Exponent Telegram
West Virginia’s congressional delegation on Friday announced the awarding of $17 million in grants to help in the aftermath of this summer’s floods in the southern counties.
The funding comes in the form of a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program. The money is part of the continuing resolution passed by Congress in late September that keeps the government going until Dec. 9.
The $17 million is, of course, far short of the $310 million Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin requested from the block grant program. Total damages from the June floods top out at $339 million.
But once Congress reconvenes after the election, it is expected to continue work on the budget and more funding for flood recovery may be forthcoming.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito calls the $17 million an “important down payment.
“This disaster recovery funding will bring relief to our state as it continues to grapple with the devastation from this summer’s flooding, and I was determined to see that West Virginia’s needs not be overlooked. There is still a long road ahead, but this funding is a significant down payment for our communities requiring immediate help,” said Capito in a news release.
First District Rep. David McKinley echoed those sentiments: “The announcement of this grant is welcome news. Over the last few months, thousands of West Virginia families have been devastated by severe storms and dangerous flooding. While we still have a long way to go, these funds will aid the recovery effort and help both businesses and individuals get back on their feet.”
According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Friday’s announcement by the Department of Commerce was unclear about the amount of funding going to other states. Louisiana, for instance, sustained devastating flooding this summer also. And there will be significant requests for grants in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
The $17 million is money separate and apart from the Hazard Mitigation Program operated by FEMA and the state’s matching $85 million that was appropriated just recently in a special session of the Legislature.
Of course, every little bit helps, but it is going to take tens of millions of dollars more to help West Virginia flood victims get back to where they were.
Members of our congressional delegation have pledged to continue to get more federal grants for flood relief. We understand that we are not the only state with urgent needs, but we hope that we can get our fair share of funding in order to rebuild the devastated towns and communities of Southern West Virginia.