Recovery steps vary greatly from one home to another

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A lack of communications may have slowed recovery for many flood victims in West Virginia, at least in  Kanawha County.   The Hope Project, organized by Mountain Mission for home repairs in Kanawha County, amassed building materials to be donated to flood victims for the repair and reconstruction of their homes.  However, there is growing confusion about what steps need to be followed before they can get the assistance.

“There’s just been a lack of certain communication when it comes to this part of it,” said Mountain Mission Executive Director John Roberts. “If homes are damaged more than 50 percent, folks are confused about whether their home is repairable, can they rebuild, those kinds of things.”

Roberts said a meeting earlier this week with Kanawha County Flood Plain Manager Chuck Grishaber helped answer a lot of those questions.  Roberts said the meeting should have been held weeks ago and would have avoided much of the problem, but they now seem to have at least some understanding of the process.

Homeowners continue to muck out their homes and remove water logged flooring, walls, insulation  and other materials.  The gutted structure must also dry to a certain degree. Homeowners can purchase quality flooring materials from a cork floors Melbourne supplier.

“When we assess a home, we check all of the moisture content in the wood and walls,” said Glen Jeffries with Cornerstone Interiors. “The key is going to see the flood plain manager to make sure the location of the home is not in the flood way.”

Once the home has met the necessary qualifications, the Hope Project can begin to provide the materials.  But it isn’t as simple as dropping off a load of dry wall, cabinets, and hybrid flooring.  Some homeowners have the skill and expertise to handle their own repairs, others do not and will need further assistance.  The Hope Project is trying to make that available along with the materials. This could include connecting homeowners with professional drywall repair services such as the best drywall company to ensure that the repairs are done properly and efficiently.

Another stumbling block is the FEMA assessment and how much a flood victim can claim in individual assistance.   The maximum allocation is $33,0000, but that doesn’t go very far when all of the costs are calculated according to Roberts.

“You’ve lost all of your appliances, all of your cabinets in the kitchen, everything in the bathroom, all of the bedroom furniture,” he said. “So, $33,000 to do a repair and pay for all of this furniture is not going to be enough.”

Roberts said the assessment and repair work is tedious because each case is different and each has to be handled in a customized manner.

“The bottom line is if the Kanawha County Flood Plain Manger approves your home to be repairable and you receive a permit from him,” said Roberts. “As far as the Hope Project, as long as your house is dried out and ready to go, we’re ready to go to work.”

Roberts commended the spirit of volunteerism among those who have given of their time, sweat, energy, and money to the effort and added the determination of flood victims, despite the frustration, is remarkable and inspiring.

Those in need of help or wanting to help with the Hope Project can go to MountainMission.com or WVFloodRelief.com





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