VERDUNVILLE — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will honor the Verdunville Volunteer Fire Department next week for its flood relief work.
Frank Blake with FEMA said on Thursday that FEMA will present an award to Verdunville VFD Fire Chief Wendell Hunter on Monday at 1:30 p.m. Presenting the award will be FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Deann Criswell.
“We’re going to thank Chief Hunter and others for providing that area there for the disaster recovery center,” Blake said. “If you don’t get a good facility that’s handicap accessible and everything, it can be tough. But, it’s been an excellent operation, so we wanted to come down and thank them.”
The deadline for FEMA flood help is May 21 until midnight if flood victims apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov and 10 p.m. if registering by phone at 1-800-621-3362.
A FEMA press release said help might be available for homeowners, renters and businesses of any size. The loss or damages must be a direct result of the flash floods that rolled through the areas starting on March 15 and going through March 31.
On the morning of March 15, a torrential downpour dumped several inches of rain on the Logan County communities of Mud Fork, Verdunville, Coal Branch and Mount Gay that caused severe flash flooding.
Nearly 300 homes and businesses were damaged by the flooding and more than 1,000 people affected. School children at Verdunville Elementary School were trapped inside for several hours until waters rescinded. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Allied Health building was also flooded and the school suffered more than $1 million in flood damage.
Within days, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, U.S. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had gotten a federal disaster declaration for the affected areas and FEMA opened a disaster recovery center at the Verdunville Volunteer Fire Department.
Those who are seeking assistance need only phone FEMA’s toll-free Help Line at 800-621-3362 to speak to a representative and supply some basic information. Operators are standing by from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Flood victims who are unsure if they qualify need to register first, FEMA officials said.
Registrations can also be made online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. From a Web-enabled cell phone or other PDA, the address is m.fema.gov. Those with hearing or speech disabilities can use the TTY number, 800-462-7585. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
Applicants should be ready to supply FEMA with current contact information, including their mailing address, phone number and e-mail address or those of a friend or relative who is in touch with the applicant; a Social Security number of any household member; the address of the damaged property; a brief description of the problems and, if appropriate, any information about insurance coverage one might or might not have.
The FEMA representative may ask for some other data, like the number of people residing in the property and the family’s gross annual income. All this information is critical to the process and will be kept in strict confidence by FEMA, officials said.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.