US Sens Asks Obama to OK W.Va. Disaster Request

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller are asking President Barack Obama to approve West Virginia's request for a major disaster declaration to help with storm recovery efforts.

The West Virginia Democrats sent letters to the president Wednesday urging him to consider the request from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Manchin's letter says businesses, health care facilities, 911 centers, water and sewer systems and cell towers couldn't operate after a storm on June 29 left more than 680,000 customers without electricity across the state. Subsequent storms depleted community resources.

Rockefeller says "unprecedented damage" occurred across the state.

Tomblin is seeking public assistance in more than 40 counties. He's also asking that hazard mitigation funds be available to all 55 counties.

Emergency officials are still doing preliminary damage assessments.


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