Lawmakers respond to southwest Virginia flooding

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - U. S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) and Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-9) say they are focused on making sure Buchanan County receives the assistance it needs from the federal government after this week’s destructive flooding.

That’s an issue in the region, because FEMA denied a request for individual assistance after flooding in the community of Hurley last year. The lawmakers said they are hopeful that won’t happen his time.

“I was very stressed last night when we were looking at 40-some people that were not accounted for, and very relieved that today we found out otherwise, so that’s great, but we have a tremendous amount of physical damage,” Griffith told WDBJ7 Thursday afternoon.

Griffith said he is thankful there was no loss of life, but mindful that families and businesses have a long road of recovery ahead.

As officials assess the damage from the latest flooding, Virginia’s U.S. Senators said they are hopeful Buchanan County residents will receive individual assistance that other residents were denied last year.

“It’s an example of FEMA rules that I think unfairly penalize rural communities where the population is not so high,” Sen. Kaine told reporters.

“This damage is much broader and more devastating at least in terms of number of individuals and businesses affected, than what happened in Hurley a year ago,” Warner said, “so I think we will be successful in getting FEMA support.”

Griffith plans to visit Buchanan County Saturday.

And all three said they will put party labels aside and work together to secure the assistance that Buchanan County residents require.

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