CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Delegate Dean Jeffries began a new role in the legislature on Tuesday.

Dean Jeffries

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he appointed Jeffries as the co-chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding.

“I am absolutely honored and humbled by this,” Jeffries told MetroNews. “I am very appreciative of the opportunity. Being from Elkview and living and owning a business in the community that was devastated by the flood, it’s truly an honor.

“It’s one of the reasons I ran, to help our community come back.”

Jeffries has been at the forefront for pushing for more things to be done to speed up the process of rebuilding the community and schools in the Elkview area, the district he represents.

Clendenin Elementary and Herbert Hoover High Schools were destroyed by the June 2016 floods and ground has yet to be broken on new facilities.

He wrote a letter to Gov. Jim Justice asking for help on the school’s situations and has gotten involved with FEMA.

“We have FEMA’s attention,” Jeffries said. “We have Senator (Shelley Moore) Capito involved and she has been active with FEMA. I had a meeting with Mary Ann Tierney last week so they are paying attention now.”

Jeffries said with the amount of flooding that occurs in West Virginia that the committee will now be on-going and not interim.

The committee works on all aspects of flood prevention including, mitigation, recovery, working with Homeland Security, and putting plans in place to lessen the risks.

“It’s always been in the plan for this to be an ongoing, long-term commitment,” Jeffries said. “Last year with the impeachment process, they got delayed a little bit and then we started the session and skipped that.

“We are back in and the end of the month is our first meeting.”

In those first few meetings, Jeffries said he would like to discuss the recent state audits that were released.

“We had heard a little bit about that before we had convened for the session,” he said of the reports. “I want to get back to that and look at that. We’ve got some other things with Richwood coming up, we will probably be diving into that.”