Virginia Governor Northam requests federal aid to fight Buchanan County flooding, speed along recovery


RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Gov. Ralph Northam (D- Va.) formally requested federal assistance from President Biden on Thursday, hoping for a Major Disaster Declaration, which would allow grant programs to provide funding to the area.

According to a release by Northam’s staff, the area sustained roughly $13.8 million in damages due to severe flooding that began Aug. 30, 2021. Alongside damage to infrastructure along the flood zone, early reports from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and FEMA estimate that 31 homes were destroyed, 27 were significantly damaged and eight received minor damage.

“When I visited Hurley, I saw firsthand how these areas are suffering and need our help,” said Northam. “I promised Hurley residents that I would do everything I could to help them, and I intend to keep that promise.

“As we continue with the recovery efforts, I am formally requesting a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government to ensure that we get access to critical programs and funding that are necessary to assist those who were affected by this disaster.”

The specific funds that Northam intends use are the Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation grant programs, which tackle the financial burden on residents, area officials and recovery workers.

While the Major Disaster Declaration would begin the process of accessing these grant programs, funding for each program is not guaranteed. The release states that individuals affected by the flooding would be able to apply independently for FEMA individual assistance for home repairs, and local organizations can apply for further public and prevention funds.

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