Obama OKs federal aid for West Virginia; at least 24 dead - WNEM TV 5

Obama OKs federal aid for West Virginia; at least 24 dead

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 Offering his condolences, President Barack Obama approved federal aid for the West Virginia communities devastated by floods that have killed at least 24 people and rendered many more homeless.

   Obama's signature Saturday on the federal disaster declaration lets residents in three counties get aid for temporary housing and home repairs, receive low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and qualify for other assistance for individuals and business owners. Federal money to help the state and local governments is also available on a cost-sharing basis.

   Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration still believes there are people missing in Greenbrier County. The other two counties in the declaration are Kanawha and Nicholas.

   Officials are urging people to stay out of a flood-ravaged West Virginia town unless they are emergency responders or they live there.

   Kanawha County Deputy Emergency Manager C.W. Sigman says the added traffic in the town of Clendenin can slow down emergency operations. Sigman says a lot of sightseers were in Clendenin yesterday.

   Sigman says there's one last local rescue team surveying parts of the county to make sure no one has been overlooked. Otherwise, he says the focus has shifted to helping communities recover, including getting water service back to some areas and removing debris.

   Of the 24 flood deaths statewide, six were in Kanawha County.

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