The United States Department of Labor is giving West Virginia $1 million to hire eligible people to help clean up damage caused by flooding during severe storms in February and March, the agency announced Monday.
The storms “extensively” damaged waterways in the southwestern part of the state, causing Gov. Jim Justice to declare a state of emergency on March 3 for Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Randolph, Roane, Upshur, and Wayne counties, according to the state.
The state secured some federal disaster funding in May after Justice applied to President Joe Biden for a federal disaster declaration, which he approved, West Virginia television station WOWK reported.
According to the report, the storms did almost $6 million in damage to those counties.
“We’d like to thank Gov. Justice for his support in securing these funds and the people of these counties for their courage while facing back-to-back disasters,” WVEMD Director G.E. McCabe said at the time. “We’re overjoyed to receive this news. Knowing we have a way to help the people of these counties in their recovery efforts means so much to us here at EMD and is great news for West Virginia.”
The new funding will be administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the funding is the first increment of a National Dislocated Worker Grant of up to of $3,050,769 to WorkForce West Virginia to provide temporary employment for eligible individuals to remove debris from streams, clear downed trees and perform other clean-up activities in Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putman and Wayne counties, the agency said.
Those impacted by the storms had until July 19 to apply for FEMA relief and were warned by the agency to beware of scammers looking to profit from the disaster.
“FEMA inspectors won’t ask for money. They have a process for verifying your registration number,” Jeff Jones, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer said in a July 23 press release. “If you have doubts about a caller, hang up and call 800-621-FEMA (3362) and report it. Plus, you can always contact your local emergency manager or the West Virginia Emergency Management Division.”
The new money is supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated workers programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses, the agency said.
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