W.Va. residents hope for flood aid

January 14, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - For 30 years, Delbert Towson lived near the banks of the Shenandoah River, but after last September's flooding, his wife decided it was time for them to move.

The river had come close to their home on Bloomery Road before , but it wasn't until the September flood that the river finally reached the house, Towson, 59, said.

When the couple returned following their evacuation, they found a mess with the floors damaged and mud everywhere.

They applied for a grant under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Program, Towson said. His wife had put in the application while attending a meeting and told him what she had done later, he said with a laugh.


The deadlines for applications to the program is Thursday at 5 p.m., said Jefferson County Office of Emergency Services Director Darrell G. Penwell.

So far, 23 applications have been received in Jefferson County, he said.

Some of the applicants are seeking to have their homes bought at pre-flood market level values. Others are looking to have their homes moved to another location outside the flood plain, or to have their properties elevated, Penwell said.

The Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program has limited funding and priorities for the funding will be determined by state officials, according to a program brochure.

Towson said he is hoping to receive funds to pay to move his mobile home to another piece of property that they are attempting to buy.

Penwell said he must have the names by 5 p.m. Thursday so he can get them to the FEMA office in Charleston, W.Va., by his deadline of 10 a.m. Friday.

Those seeking to join the program need only give their name and address to meet the deadline, he said. Other paperwork and information can be obtained later.

The program is strictly voluntary, he said.

Those who do apply can withdraw at a later time if they decide they do not want to participate, he said.

Penwell's telephone number is 1-304-728-3290. Information from interested applicants also can be left on his voice mail.

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