CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he had to try a second time to get FEMA to change its decision about not declaring nine West Virginia counties in a major disaster declaration.

“Obviously I was disappointed,” the governor said last week just after FEMA administrator Craig Fugate sent Tomblin a letter with his final decision.

Shortly after the Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River that contaminated drinking water for 100,000 West Virginia American Water customers, Tomblin applied for federal assistance in paying for the costly disaster. But he was told the water crisis did not meet the definition of a “major disaster.”

That’s the same response he got last week from Fugate. However, the governor disagrees.

“The fact that it impacted 300-thousand people in West Virginia, I think put it to the level of being a national emergency,” he stated.

FEMA is providing some funding. Government entities are being reimbursed for the money they spent in response to the emergency. But that’s as far as it will go.

Tomblin said he understands “the rules are the rules” and promised his administration would look at other federal agencies for possible funding.

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  • rick

    This administration did help a lot with this "crisis." We received a lot of help from FEMA water and food stockpiles. This was a private company that screwed up. It is up to them to clean up the mess. Why do we always want the Feds to pay for everything and then bitch about regulations we dont like? FEMA does a good job of deliverying supplies is up to the State and local goverments to get them distributed.

    • DWL

      The (d), democratic, liberal, socialist - ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY !

  • DWL

    "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Ronald Reagan was so right. This quote applies to government at all levels, especially those governed by m0r0ns and their mini0ns. (For you (d)'s, that includes liberals, leftists, socialists, democrats, et el)

  • Bo Boseman

    "Superstorm of Chaos: FEMA Disaster Diary"
    journals a new hire's deployment to Sandy and details FEMA's dysfunction. FEMA hasn't changed, unfortunately. This would be a good read to understand what we are all up against.

  • David

    WV's voting for the opposition has not gone unnoticed at FEMA.

  • I'm honest at least

    Why should tax dollars pay for this. Freedom Ind. should pay for the entire cost.

  • P B and J

    “The fact that it impacted 300-thousand people in West Virginia, I think put it to the level of being a national emergency,” Since when does WV carry the nation on its shoulders?

    Sounds bad, but this is a state issue, not a FEMA one. They responded and did their part by providing water, now Toblin can do his.

    Get off the govt teet.

  • Tom

    Gotta vote for obummer to get that free commie money.

    • wvu999

      So you're saying that Republicans do want government assistance and handouts?

      So which is it?
      You'll are for handouts when it's for you but not for them when it's for others.

      Seems legit