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Marshall County recovery center aids those not helped by FEMA


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va. — A local recovery group is utilizing a donation from Marshall County commissioners to assist flood victims.

According to Appalachian Outreach Inc. Executive Director Rose Hart, who helps lead the new Marshall-Ohio County Long Term Recovery Committee, a contribution from the commission will keep the group’s recovery center stocked with office supplies to help those in need.

Commissioners voted to support the newly formed flood relief organization during their regular meeting last week, giving the committee $1,000 for supplies at the center, which operates in the former Bishop Donahue High School building in McMechen.

The group, consisting of area organizations, residents, church groups and other, was created last month to help flood victims who are not eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance related to late July flash flooding in Marshall and Ohio counties.

According to Hart, the funds will provide important office materials such as pens, folders, paper and other important clerical items to the group, which are currently provided by Appalachian Outreach.

“We have a lot of organizations within the long-term recovery group and we’re all sitting around the table together to work for the common good, but to do that we need copy paper, pens and pencils, file folders and other general office supplies for operation,” Hart said. “And most of us hadn’t budgeted for these additional expenses.”

The recovery group, which includes United Way, Catholic Charities, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the Marshall County Family Resource Network, Appalachian Outreach and others, will remain in operation until January, although its stay may be extended.

Hart said representatives are preparing people for the Oct. 17 deadline to apply for FEMA assistance, as well as needs that may arise later.

“Right now, we’re trying to ascertain what the exact needs are, and again people need to register with FEMA so we will have a list of what they’ve received and not received … ,” she said. “If someone turns on their furnace in a few weeks and it doesn’t work, and they’ve applied for FEMA assistance, they can go back and say they found another need and still be covered. If they neglected to file, it will be their expense, so it’s critically important.”

Volunteer Raili Litos said the volunteer caseworkers are looking to help locals with material needs as well as emotional support.

“These people are still traumatized. They get so involved that they start telling us about the horrible experiences they have had,” she said. “There’s a lot more to it than paperwork. They need to also express what they’re feeling.”

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