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More than 800 request FEMA aid

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- More than 800 West Virginians have requested federal disaster aid in Kanawha, Fayette, Nicholas and Raleigh counties, a Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman said Thursday.

That has happened since federal officials declared individuals in those four counties eligible for individual disaster assistance earlier this month. The disaster declaration followed a powerful late-June storm that tore through the state.

There are two basic kinds of FEMA aid. The first, which the state already has begun to receive for counties, provides the state government with money to fix water systems and other public works damaged by the storm.

The second helps homeowners if there is widespread personal property damage. Intense damage occurred only in four counties, according to the federal government.

FEMA generally provides money or reimbursements for repairs to living spaces that were damaged by the storm.

They are also helping the state offer food stamps for people who lost food during the storm.

The state itself has already offered some replacement food stamps to program recipients whose food was spoiled by the long power outages. Now there are also special disaster food stamps for people who lost food during the storm but might not otherwise qualify for the program.

Finally, the federal government may provide workers and even small business owners with unemployment benefits for days of work lost because of the storm.

"Basically we tell people if they have losses from the event, call the help line so each case can be handled," FEMA spokeswoman Michelle Breeland said.

That number is 1-800-621-FEMA.

FEMA has set up four disaster recovery centers — one in each of the four counties. People can apply for assistance online at FEMA.gov, but they also can visit the centers to apply for aid or to get more questions answered.

As of Thursday morning, there had been 209 requests from Kanawha County residents; 220 from Fayette residents; 203 from Nicholas residents; and 201 from Raleigh residents, said FEMA spokesman Frank Blake.

The deadline to ask for aid is Nov. 19.

The center locations include: Kanawha, the South Charleston Community Center on Jefferson Road; Fayette, the Glen Jean Armory; Nicholas, the National Guard Armory; and Raleigh, the city-county convention center.

People who head to a disaster recovery center should have their Social Security number, insurance information, address of the damaged property and bank account information.


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