WV Representative Urges that More Hurricane Sandy Assistance Necessary

Updated 7 years ago From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As lawmakers begin to draft a supplemental disaster relief bill to fund response, recovery, and mitigation efforts relating to Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with jurisdiction over FEMA disaster and emergency response programs, Wednesday urged the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to give full attention to the needs of southern West Virginia.

 “These are fiscally austere times, but we cannot shirk our moral responsibility to help regions of our country most impacted by natural disasters.  I intend to keep working with state and local officials to convey the needs of our State and pushing hard to ensure West Virginia families and businesses get every Federal dollar they are entitled to under the law,” said Rahall.

In his letter to the Committee, Rahall noted that 2012 has been a year of unprecedented disaster-related damage in West Virginia.  Both Hurricane Sandy and this past summer's derecho storm, along with two other federally declared disasters, created unique recovery needs. 

Rahall urged the Committee to provide robust funding for disaster response, recovery, and mitigation through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and several other Federal agencies, such as the Small Business Administration, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He also urged the Committee to raise the Federal share for disaster programs where multiple disasters – such as Sandy and the summer derecho in West Virginia – compounded to produce an alarming financial toll on already strained State and local resources.  

“Sandy cut a wide swath and didn’t discriminate when it came to her devastating impact.  The Congress has an obligation to fully address Sandy’s long reach without discrimination.  Tough budget times don’t need to be made worse by leaving families, businesses and local governments hanging,” said Rahall.  “Mother Nature has wreaked havoc upon our state in the past several months.  Congress needs to act swiftly to meet the immense challenges the forces of nature summoned,” said Rahall  

Rahall’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently held an oversight hearing on the Federal response to Hurricane Sandy and has been successful in securing passage of legislation that encourages greater flexibility and more objective criteria in the guidelines that FEMA uses to assess disaster assistance requests.

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