Federal Emergency Management Agency

A photo taken during the demolition of Herbert Hoover High School in Sept. 2018.
Kanawha County Schools


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide West Virginia $52.3 million to rebuild Herbert Hoover High School after devastating flooding in 2016 damaged the building. 

James Hoyer, Jimmy Gianato
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

One of the first presentations West Virginia lawmakers heard after gaveling in for the 2018 state Legislative session was one to help them more effectively guide their districts in the face of emergencies.

Since 2009, there have been 21 state emergency proclamations, 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency major disaster declarations, and 4 FEMA emergency declarations – that’s according to Jimmy Gianato, Director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Steve Helber / Associated Press

Several families impacted by flooding last year in West Virginia have received new homes.

WVVA-TV reports the Rainelle residents were handed keys to their homes on Monday. The homes have 8-foot (2-meter) support beams should severe weather come again.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The last Disaster Recovery Center serving communities in northern West Virginia after devastating flash floods this summer will close this week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Recovery Center in Wetzel County will close at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening, September 29.

Flood, damage,
Office of the Governor of West Viriginia

The Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency want to remind flood victims who haven’t applied for assistance that a deadline for applying for assistance is approaching.

The SBA and FEMA deadline for accepting flood victim applicants is Oct. 17th. Richard Daigle, SBA’s Public Affairs Specialist, says many who were impacted by flash flooding in northern counties of West Virginia this summer have already applied.

Hundred, WV, a week after flooding is still clearing and cleaning debris.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice is seeking a federal disaster declaration for a dozen counties in northern West Virginia hit by flooding in late July.

Justice sent a letter to the White House on August 10 requesting the disaster declaration, according to a news release from the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

West Virginia officials say the state has been awarded a $5 million federal grant to put case managers in each county hurt by flooding in June and help flood victims with remaining unmet needs.

Roane County Floods
Jeff Fetty

West Virginia is one of four states that will receive part of a $500 million dollar federal flood-relief package. However, it’s unclear how much of it will be awarded to the Mountain State.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has approved a bill to send $85 million in state aid to counties impacted by June’s flooding.

Senators voted 32-0 Monday completing the Legislature’s work on the bill.

The bill appropriates $21 million from lottery reserves, $9 million from an unappropriated surplus from the previous fiscal year, and $55 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will call lawmakers into a special session Sunday evening to consider legislation that will help the state continue to cleanup and recover from June’s historic flooding. 

Gov. Tomblin issued the proclamation Friday convening a special session beginning Sunday evening at 6pm. Lawmakers will only be able to consider two pieces of legislation, according to the session call.

Flood, Clendenin
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More than 8,000 West Virginia households have contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency for federal assistance since June’s flooding.

FEMA officials say 8,732 West Virginians have contacted the agency for help after high waters damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and businesses on June 30. That number is expected to increase, though, because the deadline to apply for assistance does not expire until September 7.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There are only two weeks left for survivors of June’s devastating flooding to apply for federal grants or loans.

The deadline to apply for disaster assistance with either the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Small Business Administration is on Wednesday, August 24.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

FEMA-- the Federal Emergency Management Agency-- is well known for its individual housing assistance program- a federal program that helps homeowners and renters who have lost their housing and belongings in natural disasters, but the agency has another program that helps states and local governments rebuild.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Thousands of West Virginians are still recovering more than six weeks after heavy rains caused historic flooding in southeastern parts of the state. State officials say finding housing is still one of the top priorities, but the need in some communities is changing.

Muddy cars sit in front a flooded-out home on Saturday, June 25, 2016, in Clendenin, in northern Kanawha County, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says it will be some time before the state has fully recovered after devastating floods in late June. He says he anticipates the damage to well-exceed $100 million.

Governor Tomblin held a press conference Wednesday to update the state on the status of recovery efforts in West Virginia.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the past two weeks, 12 counties have been given federal disaster declarations. Severe flooding in those counties destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and many are looking to the federal government--specifically the Federal Emergency Management Agency--for help in rebuilding. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More federal aid is on the way to help West Virginia governments pay for extensive damage done by floods that killed 23 people.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced in a news release Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved public assistance for agencies in 11 counties.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

While Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties were initially thought to be the hardest hit in West Virginia, receiving federal disaster declarations some 24 hours after catastrophic flooding, as the waters receded it was clear the damage was more widespread.

In Clay County, officials estimate more than 500 homes were damaged or destroyed leaving at least 500 people displaced. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we look at where we are now – one week since historic flooding devastated parts of West Virginia.

Seven volunteer fire departments in West Virginia will receive more than $900,000 in federal grants.

The money will go toward operations and safety and can be used to purchase training equipment and protective gear.

BotMultichillT / wikimedia Commons

The Berkeley County Fire Service Board received a federal grant last week to help recruit and train more volunteer firefighters.


On Thursday, officials with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will begin conducting joint preliminary damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in ten counties after this week's severe thunderstorms. 

These first assessments will record damages to personal property and infrastructure in Braxton, Clay, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, Nicholas, Putnam, Roane, Webster, and Wood counties.  Governor Tomblin declared a State of Emergency in those counties this week.

  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reviewing its site visit procedures after a staff member's appearance at two West Virginia elementary schools caused a scare.

Cabell County Schools spokesman Jedd Flowers said Thursday that school officials weren't notified prior to the worker's visit on Monday.

Flowers says the worker showed one school's principal his identification badge. But she didn't think the badge was legitimate. The man left and the principal notified county school officials, who contacted police.

West Virginia is gearing up to test a national alert system next week.

Officials say the Federal Emergency Management Agency will lead a test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System in West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon.

The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the West Virginia Broadcasters Association and others will participate in the test.

Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Federal officials have denied Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's appeal seeking a major disaster declaration for a January chemical spill that contaminated the water supply in nine counties.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate says in a letter to Tomblin that a review affirmed the agency's earlier decision to deny Tomblin's request for a declaration. The letter says the event doesn't meet the legal definition of a major disaster.

A West Virginia homeland security official thinks responders for a Jan. 9 chemical spill into the water supply could receive $2 million in federal help.
Homeland security official Greg Myers says the estimate covers state and local agencies, and select nonprofits, like volunteer fire departments. He says the total could grow.

Federal officials have approved a funding request by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin related to the January chemical spill in Charleston.
But Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate refused to consider the event a "major disaster."

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's congressional delegation is urging President Obama to reconsider the denial of extra federal aid after a January chemical spill.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Feb. 12 denied Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's request for reimbursement for first responders, nonprofits and public agencies that assisted during the spill. Tomblin appealed the decision on March 11.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Representatives Nick Rahall, Shelley Moore Capito, and David McKinley, asked President Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate to reconsider a recent decision by FEMA and appealed this week by Governor Earl Ray Tombin, which denied West Virginia’s request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures following the January 9 chemical spill in the Elk River.

Scott Finn / Twitter: @radiofinn

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today appealed the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deny West Virginia's request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures in response to the January 9 Elk River chemical spill.