|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 5, 2002
President Orders Federal Aid for West Virginia Disaster
Statement by the Press Secretary
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, and landslides on May 2, 2002, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in a four county area. The counties include McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, and Wyoming.
Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.
Joe M. Allbaugh, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Justo Hernandez as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional assistance and counties may be added after the assessments are completed.
The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.