W.Va. officials say housing is now flood recovery priority

By Tina Alvey, The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — “It’s like watching information in a blender. It goes round and round.”

Thus did Sen. Craig Blair (R-Berkeley) sum up testimony received from administration officials during a public meeting of a subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding held in Charleston on Wednesday.

State Homeland Security director Mike Todorovich and Brian Abraham, general counsel for the governor’s office, were among those who addressed the subcommittee. Both spoke about the tangled financial picture surrounding recovery from the June 2016 flood that devastated several counties in West Virginia.

They talked at some length about the mysterious “flip” of priorities for expenditure of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds, which placed infrastructure projects first in line for funding and relegated replacing homes damaged beyond repair to last on the list.

While each man put his own spin on the information provided, both agreed that the governor has made his position on the “flip” quite clear in recent days.

“The governor has directed us… that we will redirect these priorities to housing,” Abraham said. “Housing is priority No. 1.” …

Read more: https://www.register-herald.com/news/state-officials-say-housing-is-now-flood-recovery-priority/article_8c45b67c-c848-5609-976f-7e549e11f66a.html

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