CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice plans a news conference this morning to update efforts on long-term flood relief in West Virginia.
Justice is also anticipated to be a guest at 11:06 on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”
Earlier this week, Justice promised changes to the RISE West Virginia program after widespread complaints that it has taken too long to administer long-term flood relief money versus expectations that it would act quickly.
Justice plans to transfer most of the authority for West Virginia’s long-term flood relief effort, promising faster, more responsive results.
Justice said his administration will reduce the authority of Department of Commerce, which has been managing federal long-term relief funds, and instead place it largely with Gen. James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard.
Hoyer said his first priority is identify how many people still have housing needs “and get the process moving faster to address those needs.”
The administration has also talked about reorganizing the Department of Commerce, although the nature of the reorganization and the timetable haven’t been made clear.
West Virginia RISE in the Department of Commerce in the Justice administration is the state agency designated to manage Community Development Block Grants for disaster relief authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Of the $149,875,000 West Virginia has available, the state still has $148,736,333 left on hand.
West Virginia made its request to start using the money this past Jan. 29. HUD gave its OK on Feb. 20.
This is all in response to a flood that hit West Virginia on June 23, 2016. Some counties were hit with 10 inches of rain over 24 hours.
Twenty-three people were killed. There were 1,200 homes destroyed, and thousands were without power. The flood damaged businesses, roads and water and sewer systems.