By Lyra Bordelon
On the week of the fourth anniversary of the 2016 floods, state officials visited flooded homes and bridges in Greenbrier and Monroe counties to check on progress. State Resiliency Officer Bobby Cales, WV National Guard Construction Manager Major Justin McIntire, and WVVOAD Director Jenny Gannaway traveled here to meet with Senator Stephen Baldwin, Delegate Jeff Campbell, and Delegate Cindy Lavender-Bowe. Senator Glenn Jeffries also attended. (Baldwin, Campbell, and Jeffries are members of the Committee on Flooding.) They visited a home rebuild in Union, a bridge in White Sulphur, and two home rebuilds in Ronceverte.
The RISE program, after getting off to a rough start landing the state on the “slow spender” list with FEMA, has made significant progress over the past year. 193 projects are completed, with 208 to go. Projects include mobile home replacements, home renovations, and complete home rebuilds.
The construction process involves many entities and agencies. The National Guard oversees construction. Thompson Construction builds the majority of homes in the program currently, hiring local contractors as subcontractors. WVVOAD (a nonprofit disaster recovery group) rebuilds bridges and homes as a subcontractor. Elected officials work with all those parties on behalf of property and homeowners to keep cases moving forward.
“The National Guard updates our Committee on flooding regularly,” said Delegate Jeff Campbell. “I am hopeful we will see more and more of these home completions so folks can move on with their lives.”
“I enjoyed seeing the progress being made across our region to support flood survivors,” Delegate Cindy Lavender-Bowe said. “It takes us all working together and supporting one another to rebuild successfully.”
“People still need help,” said Senator Stephen Baldwin. “Our mantra is ‘whatever it takes.’ We will do whatever it takes to make folks whole.”
If you need assistance with your RISE case, please contact Delegate Campbell, Delegate Lavender-Bowe, or Senator Baldwin for assistance. They will work with the National Guard and VOAD to aid you and your family.