Tuesday, November 27, President Obama declared a major disaster to reimburse the state and local governments of West Virginia and certain private non-profit organizations for eligible emergency work or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities caused by Hurricane Sandy between October 29 and November 8, 2012. Boone County was deemed eligible for public assistance. West Virginia will receive a grant under FEMA's mitigation program to fund selected projects statewide that are designed to save lives and protect property in natural disasters. Mitigation grants are based on the amount of federal disaster assistance a state receives from a federal- declared disaster, FEMA officials said. According to officials, FEMA's Public Assistance program can fund eligible infrastructure costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures (fire, police, and emergency medical services), roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities, and other eligible infrastructure costs. "We are extremely appreciative of this assistance FEMA will be providing. Many towns across West Virginia experienced extensive damage, and these federal funds will go a long way in helping these communities recover," said West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. "I know we still have West Virginians who are struggling, and I've requested additional help for these families. While I'm hopeful we will hear back soon, my request is still under review by FEMA." Hazard Mitigation grants also became available with the declaration, Tomblin added. All counties are eligible to apply for this financial assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards, he said. Having travelled to several counties in the aftermath of the storm and seen first-hand the ferocity with which Hurricane Sandy struck West Virginia communities, I welcome the Federal aid for repairing our States public facilities and critical service infrastructure, as well as for implementing long-term hazard mitigation measures to reduce the impact of future storms, said Third District U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), who serves as the Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As families and businesses recover and rebuild, I will continue to fight for all of the Federal disaster assistance our State is entitled to receive. Im very thankful for our first responders and National Guard members who worked so hard to take care of families whose lives were uprooted by this storm, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said. And Im also grateful that our request for a Major Disaster Declaration was approved; its an important step toward rebuilding. That being said, Im continuing to press FEMA to take the next step in approving Individual Assistance for property owners in West Virginia. The people of West Virginia are so resilient, but in the past few months, weve faced major storms that have done incredible damage to businesses, homes and our states infrastructure. I appreciate the Administrations quick approval of this disaster declaration, which is so important in helping our citizens recover, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said. I want to especially thank my friend Secretary Janet Napolitano, who personally visited our state during the disaster to see the hard work of our first responders and make sure that they had everything they needed. I know that the people of West Virginia will put these resources to good use rebuilding our communities and lives.