April 1, 2011  //  


Media Contacts:
FEMA – Josie Pritchard        (276) 973-0078
VDEM – Suzanne Simmons   (276) 973-0063

April 22, 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.


WISE, VA. – It has been three weeks since President Bush declared a major disaster for Southwest Virginia counties. The recovery process is well underway. The following is a summary of the services provided by the state and federal government to assist disaster victims as of April 22, 2002. Included in the disaster declaration are the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe and the independent city of Norton. Combined assistance has reached more than $2.7 million in aid to victims of the March flooding.

  • More than $1.4 million in FEMA disaster housing assistance checks have been issued to more than 866 residents affected by the March flooding.

  • To date, 1,526 applicants have registered for disaster assistance.

  • The Individual and Family Grant Program (IFG) has approved $497,000 in grants to help 175 families cover serious needs or overcome disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse conditions.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $775,000 in low interest disaster loans to 12 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.

  • Public assistance reimbursement funds for emergency protective measures, debris removal costs and infrastructure repair were authorized for the flood disaster area. An applicant briefing for public and certain private non-profit organizations has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at the Russell County Public Library in Lebanon.

  • Disaster unemployment assistance through the Virginia Employment Commission is available to eligible individuals who are out of work due to the disaster and uncovered by regular unemployment insurance.

  • 20,000 gallons of potable water is being distributed through the Russell County Water & Sewer Treatment facility for Dante, West Dante and Russell County residents. Another 40,000 gallons will be made available if required.

  • Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) have opened in Russell, Lee, Scott, and Smyth counties and are scheduled to be located in other affected counties. A fixed-location DRC is in Wise on Industrial Park Road.

  • FEMA community relations field officers continue to contact Virginia victims in the disaster-designated counties to assess their needs.

  • To date, more than 1,262 inspections have been completed. Five housing inspectors are verifying damage to determine eligibility for FEMA disaster housing assistance.

Individuals and business owners who suffered losses or damages in 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. 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. Hours of operation for both locations are 8 a.m. to 8 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