Recovery group seeking to raise $500K for Hurley flood repairs


Photo: WJHL

GRUNDY, Va. (WJHL) — Nearly two months after flood waters devastated the Hurley community of Southwest Virginia, a rebuilding group continues its efforts in raising money for recovery.

The United Way of Southwest Virginia has raised over a quarter million dollars for the flood repairs, but the group has only met half its end goal.

“To date, we have raised around $230,000,” says Travis Staton, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia, which serves as fiscal agent for the group. “We know the need is much greater than that, and we hope to raise and distribute $500,000 before this is all said and done.”

Staton cited that while the maximum housing assistance per household is $36,000, most households do not receive that for repairs.

“Some folks seem to think that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) will come in and just take care of everything,” Staton says. “But FEMA’s maximum housing assistance for any household under the Individuals and Households Program is $36,000 and the average, according to one former FEMA administrator, is closer to $6,000. The real heavy lifting is going to have to be done here in Southwest Virginia with private donations, foundation and institutional giving and volunteer labor. Waiting for Washington won’t work.”

The Hurley Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) has worked to maximize the funds’ impacts across the community and has worked alongside United Way as the area moves forward.

Fifteen homes are assessed a week, according to a release from United Way of Southwest Virginia, and more volunteers are expected to arrive in November to assist with rebuilding efforts.

LTRG acts as a liaison between households and agencies that have the resources to help.

“We take that assessment and do an estimate of the materials involved to put the house back together,” says Butch Meredith of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, a 501(c)(3) organization. “We have a partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement stores. Through that relationship, we get pretty extensive discounts, and we get a little extra care and treatment as far as scheduling deliveries.”

To help with recovery in Hurley, CLICK HERE.

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