March 31, 2011  //  


Media Contacts:
FEMA –  Len DeCarlo           (276) 973-0035
VDEM – Suzanne Simmons   (276) 973-0063

June 25, 2002


WISE, Va. – Smyth County will receive $126,835 to help repair public facilities damaged by storms and flooding. The funds come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and are available because of the April 3 disaster declaration made by President Bush.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program enables governmental entities and certain private non-profits to apply for help with the cost of repairing or replacing disaster-damaged infrastructure to its pre-disaster condition. Eligible costs include those associated with debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairing or replacing disaster-damaged roads, bridges, public buildings and other facilities.

A total of 18 projects in the county have been deemed eligible for state and federal disaster assistance, according to disaster recovery officials. The majority of these projects involve grading road surfaces, replacing surface and base materials, cleaning and reshaping ditches, and replacing concrete low-water crossings. For eligible projects, FEMA will pay 75 percent of the costs and the state and locality will share the remaining 25 percent.

Some projects in Smyth County include: replacement or repair of equipment at the wastewater treatment plant in Chilhowie; rip-rapping to cover an exposed sewer line near Seven Mile Ford Bridge in Chilhowie; and reshaping of drainage ditches and repairs to several road shoulders in Saltville

In addition to repairing or replacing damaged infrastructure, the Public Assistance program also can help pay for measures that, when implemented, will reduce or prevent damage in future floods. These measures are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Several such projects are being completed in Smyth County. One example is the replacement of the McCready Gap Head Start Bridge on Route 613. The existing bridge was washed out on one side. The new bridge will be better able to withstand future flooding events.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Information on the Southwest Virginia disaster is also available on FEMA’s homepage on the Internet at, or VDEM’s homepage at 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