CHARLESTON, W.Va. — No decision had been made as of Saturday morning on West Virginia’s request for a greater reimbursement rate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for infrastructure repair projects needed after the June 23 flood.
Typically in disasters, FEMA covers 75 percent of the costs of public rebuilding work through the agency’s Public Assistance Program. States and local governments are responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
On Friday, state officials, under instructions from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, submitted a formal request to FEMA for reimbursements of 90 percent for qualifying governments and non-profit organizations.
West Virginia officials are currently projecting nearly $200 million in flood damages and that number was expected to grow, according to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) who said he spoke in support of the request with President Barack Obama’s chief of staff Friday.
FEMA regulations, Manchin argued, provide for an additional cost share “when a disaster is so extraordinary that the eligible costs exceed current thresholds.”
“Now that the floodwaters have receded, we must work with everyone we can to rebuild homes, businesses, schools and communities that have been devastated by the horrific flooding,” Manchin said in a statement.
“This additional funding will be a lifeline to help local communities meet the financial demands of rebuilding critical infrastructure, such as schools and first responder facilities, to make sure that our communities can recover and rebuild.”