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Many WV flood claims from low-income, elderly

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia floods destroyed about 2,050 homes and prompted 8,541 people to seek federal assistance, at last count, the leader of the West Virginia National Guard reported to the Legislature on Monday.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer told lawmakers that he expects more claims through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to trickle in through Sept. 7, the new deadline to file requests for assistance.

According to the latest data, 39 percent of those filing flood-relief claims are classified as low-income residents.

Also, 36 percent of filers live in areas located outside flood plains. In Clay County, one of the hardest-hit areas of the state, nearly half of those whose homes were damaged or destroyed live outside flood plains.

“It’s an issue we’ve got to look at as we address housing and long-term recovery,” Hoyer said during his flood update at the state Capitol on Monday.

Greenbrier County had a high percentage of seniors apply for FEMA flood assistance. Clay County had the highest percentage of low-income residents affected by the June floods…

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