April 1, 2011  //  


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

April 29, 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 April 29, 2002.


WISE, VA. – It has been almost a month since President Bush declared a major disaster because of flood damage in Southwest Virginia. The localities designated in the disaster declaration are Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and the city of Norton. Wythe County was designated eligible for public assistance only. During that time, FEMA has received 1,693 applications for disaster assistance and has approved more than $2.5 million in combined assistance.

  • To date, 1,693 applicants have registered for disaster assistance.

  • More than 1,462 inspections have been completed. Housing inspectors are verifying damage to determine eligibility for FEMA disaster housing assistance.

  • $1.6 million in FEMA disaster housing assistance checks have been issued to more than 1,075 residents affected by the March flooding.

  • The Individual and Family Grant Program (IFG) has approved $530,000 in grants to help 190 families cover serious needs or overcome disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse conditions.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $292,000 in low interest disaster loans to 21 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.

  • Disaster unemployment assistance through the Virginia Employment Commission is available to eligible individuals who are out of work due to the disaster and not covered by regular unemployment insurance.

  • Initial public assistance projects totaling $290,000 have been approved and more are expected. In Russell County, a project is underway to relocate damaged water lines; road repair has been approved in Tazewell County; and St. Paul in Wise County has a project to repair a damaged park. The public assistance funds are expected to rise dramatically when all projects in the disaster declared areas reach the final approval stage. Applicants were briefed and there were five kickoff meetings for public assistance on April 24.

  • 20,000 gallons of potable water was initially distributed through the Russell County Water & Sewer Authority for affected Dante, West Dante and Russell County residents. Up to 40,000 gallons more are available. An increment of 8,000 gallons is scheduled for delivery on May 1 with future deliveries as requested. It is not anticipated that the entire 40,000 gallons will be required.

  • Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) have been in operation in seven of the disaster declared counties of Southwest Virginia. The last of the mobile centers closed on Sunday, April 28. On Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m., the disaster recovery center in Wise will close permanently. The disaster recovery centers were visited by a total of 523 applicants.

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

  • The Red Cross served more than 18,000 meals and provided shelter to 168 people in 11 shelters, in the early stages of the disaster.

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 or TTY1-800-462-7585. Hours of operation for both locations are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday 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