March 31, 2011  //  


Media Contacts:
FEMA – Josie Pritchard        (276) 973-0078
VDEM – Suzanne Simmons   (276) 973-0063
SBA –     Colleen Hiam           (716) 283 4612

May 15, 2002




NOTE TO EDITORS: Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help SW Virginia residents following the March flooding. The following is a summary of ongoing response and recovery efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Virginia Department of Emergency Management will update this information periodically from their Joint Information Center in Wise. The information is current as of May 14, 2002.


WISE, VA. – FEMA and the Commonwealth of Virginia continue recovery efforts in eight Southwest Virginia counties and the independent city of Norton that suffered floods in late March. These figures do not include totals for the recently declared disaster covering the floods and severe storms in Tazewell and Buchanan counties.

The localities included in the March flood disaster are Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and the city of Norton. Wythe County was designated eligible for public assistance only. During the six weeks since President Bush declared the disaster, FEMA has received 1,852 applications for disaster assistance and has approved $5.3 million in combined assistance.

  • To date, 1,852 applicants have registered for disaster assistance.

  • A total of 1,597 housing inspections have been completed. Housing inspectors are verifying damage to determine eligibility for FEMA disaster housing assistance.

  • Over $1.8 million in FEMA disaster housing assistance checks have been issued to more than 1,198 residents affected by the March flooding.

  • The Individual and Family Grant Program (IFG) has approved $646,000 in grants to help 231 families cover serious needs or overcome disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse conditions.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $1.4 million in low-interest disaster loans to 84 individuals and businesses. SBA disaster loans are the primary form of federal assistance to help homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes affected by the disaster.

  • Initial public assistance projects totaling $1.5 million in federal funds have been approved and more are expected. The current focus of public assistance is repair of flood-damaged roads. Public assistance funds are expected to rise dramatically when all projects in the disaster declared areas reach the final approval stage.

Individuals and business owners who suffered losses or damages from the March floods in the counties designated in the presidential disaster declaration are encouraged to register by calling FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. The deadline for registering for the March 17-20 flooding is June 1. Those who have already registered but need to update their information or who have questions about the status of their application can call the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Hours of operation for both locations are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Information on the Southwest Virginia disaster is also available on FEMA’s homepage on the Internet at www.fema.gov, or VDEM’s homepage at www.vaemergency.com. Information also is available through FEMA’s 24-fax-on-demand service by calling (202) 646-FEMA. RADIO NEWS DIRECTORS: For recorded actualities on response and recovery operations call the FEMA Radio Network at 1-800-323-5248.


Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund