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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 14, 1996


President Clinton today declared a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by heavy rains, high wind, flooding, and slides on July 18-31, 1996.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the following ten counties: Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Cabell, Gilmer, Monongalia, Nicholas, Randolph, Upshur, and Webster. Federal assistance is also available to local governments in the following counties: Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Gilmer, Monongalia, Nicholas, Randolph, and Webster.

Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the heavy rains, high wind, flooding, and slides. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Robert J. Gunter of FEMA's regional office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.