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White House approves individual disaster assistance for West Virginia tornado victims

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Disaster relief is on the way for those impacted by the April 2 storms and tornados.

C.W. Sigman

President Joe Biden approved federal aid to West Virginia Wednesday which will help fund temporary housing, home repairs and provide loans to cover uninsured personal and business property losses.

Those in Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marshall, Nicholas, Putnam, Wayne and Wetzel counties will be eligible to apply for individual disaster assistance.

Funding will also be available for state and local governments, non-profits to help repair communities in Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Preston, Tyler and Wetzel Counties.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the storms can apply for assistance online or by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-3362.

Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman said FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will also open recovery centers soon for people to apply for assistance in person.

“We’re working with FEMA now to get the disaster recovery centers opened up,” Sigman said. “We’re trying to get them opened up mostly in the western part of the county where most of the tornado damage was in homes including St. Albans, Tyler Mountain and the Dunbar areas.”

Downtown office workers captures amazing video of storm rolling into Charleton. PHOTO: Sue Houck

Sigman suggested residents bring important documentation to meet with FEMA officials.

“If they do show up for help, make sure they have a lot of good documentation like pictures of the damage, insurance policies, ownership, things of that nature,” he said.

The National Weather Service confirmed ten tornados across the state on April 2, including in Kanawha, Fayette, Putnam and Cabell counties, some with wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Sigman said one of the tornados touched down in St. Albans City Park. He said much of the damage was from collapsed trees.

“They had a lot of damage and a lot of trees come through mobile homes. We had roofs taken off of a few homes in the Jefferson area and in Cross Lanes one tree pretty much demolished a house,” he said.

The weather service previously confirmed an EF2 tornado in the Fayette County community of Lavista where 130 mph winds destroyed more than 20 structures.

About 140,000 Appalachian Power Company customers lost electricity from the storm. No deaths were reported.

Sigman said the county is still working on getting disaster assistance for the April 11 flooding event.

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