West Virginia's congressional delegation is asking the president to authorize federal disaster relief funds after flash flooding damaged the state's eastern highlands late last month.
U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito joined U.S. Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller in a joint statement Wednesday asking for the federal disaster declaration.
Severe thunderstorms hit Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Tucker and Randolph counties
, leading to flooding and evacuations. Homes were knocked off their foundations and bridges and roads were washed out, including parts of four-lane U.S. Route 33. There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries.
Republican Gov. Jim Justice has already declared an emergency and the West Virginia National Guard is helping with some of the cleanup.
Below is the full letter from West Virginia's congressional delegation urging a federal disaster declaration:
Dear Mr. President:
As members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation, we write to support Governor Jim Justice and his request for a federal disaster declaration for the State of West Virginia after heavy thunderstorms drenched the eastern region of our state. Flash flooding, caused by severe weekend thunderstorms caused significant damage to infrastructure, homes, personal property and businesses in Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Tucker and Randolph counties, on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
A heavy downpour of rain began in the late evening hours on June 29th, dumping up to 5 inches of rain in several hours. The quick onset of rain sparked flash floods and hasty evacuations throughout the northeastern counties in West Virginia. While no injuries have been reported, many homes have been severely damaged, roadways washed out and businesses flooded.
To access federal disaster aid, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has made a request for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of West Virginia. This request was submitted July 17, 2019, under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5208 (Stafford Act). We respectfully request that you review this request for all categories of Public Assistance for Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Tucker, and Randolph counties expeditiously, and give it all appropriate consideration.
We commend the tireless efforts that local citizens and first responders who have worked diligently to assist in rescue recovery efforts, and we urge you to do everything in your power to make sure that our communities have the federal support that they will need to recover.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.