The Latest: 5 more West Virginia counties get disaster nod

AP News
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Posted: Jun 28, 2016 5:50 PM
The Latest: 5 more West Virginia counties get disaster nod

LEWISBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on flooding that has devastated parts of West Virginia (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says a federal disaster declaration have been approved for five more flood-ravaged counties in West Virginia.

Tomblin announced on his Twitter feed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the state's request for Clay, Fayette, Monroe, Roane and Summers counties. It allows residents to apply for individual assistance from FEMA.

Previously, federal disaster declarations were approved for the three hardest-hit counties — Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas.

Tomblin says he's waiting word on disaster requests made earlier Tuesday for Pocahontas and Webster counties.

Flash flooding last week damaged thousands of homes and businesses and killed 23 people. Tomblin previously issued a state of emergency in 44 counties, which authorizes the mobilization of state resources for flood-relief efforts.

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5:30 p.m.

Police have arrested a man on charges of stealing items from flooded properties in southern West Virginia.

Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler says in a news release that 53-year-old Mark Anthony Moore of Russellville was charged Tuesday with burglary, petit larceny and possession of a controlled substance.

Kessler says beer and bottles of liquor were stolen from a home, vehicle registration and state inspection stickers were taken from an abandoned vehicle, and a tire and rim had been removed from a truck. The release says the stickers allegedly were found on Moore's vehicle.

Kessler says the area where the theft occurred had extensive damage in last week's flooding and many residents lost their homes and personal possessions.

Moore was taken to the Southern Regional Jail. Bond was set at $50,000. Jail records didn't list if he had an attorney.

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2:30 p.m.

Tetanus vaccines are available to West Virginia residents who have been exposed to floodwaters.

The tetanus bacteria can be contracted through an open cut or wound. The state Department of Health and Human Resources recently suggested the vaccines to residents who are have not received tetanus booster shots in the past 10 years.

The Greenbrier resort says free tetanus vaccines are being administered Tuesday at two locations in White Sulphur Springs.

On the other side of the county, Rainelle Medical Center CEO Kristi Atha-Rader says 600 tetanus vaccines were already given to residents and the hospital has received 600 more.

The Clendenin Volunteer Fire Department says tetanus shots are available at two sites in that Kanawha County community, while the Summersville Regional Medical Center is offering the shots at its clinics in Ansted in Fayette County and Summersville in Nicholas County.

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12:45 p.m.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened disaster centers for residents in two flood-ravaged West Virginia counties.

The centers opened Tuesday in Greenbrier and Kanawha counties. They were part of a federal disaster declaration issued last week that also included aid for Nicholas County after floods killed at least 23 people in the state.

FEMA says Greenbrier County residents can apply for federal assistance at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church in White Sulphur Springs. Kanawha County residents can apply at the Crede Warehouse in Charleston.

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12:30 p.m.

Procter & Gamble is helping flood-ravaged West Virginia residents wash their clothes.

The company says in a news release that a mobile laundry unit is providing full-service laundry to residents starting Tuesday. The first mobile unit is being set up at Elkview Middle School in Kanawha County.

Residents can bring clothes to the mobile unit to be washed, dried and folded free of charge. Up to 100 loads of laundry per day will be collected from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All washable clothing and other items will be accepted with the exception of heavy bedding.

The company says personal care kits will be distributed containing items such as deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and household cleaning products.

Floods last week killed at least 23 people in West Virginia.

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11:20 a.m.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has added seven counties to his request for a federal disaster declaration for flood-ravaged West Virginia.

The counties added by Tomblin in a statement Tuesday are Clay, Fayette, Monroe, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers and Webster.

The three hardest-hit counties — Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas — have already received approval for a federal declaration. That allows residents to apply for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Those affected can apply for aid online or by phone.

Flash flooding last week damaged thousands of homes and businesses and killed 23 people. Tomblin previously issued a state of emergency in 44 counties, which authorizes the mobilization of state resources for flood-relief efforts.

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This item has been corrected to show that seven counties were added to a federal disaster declaration request. There are 44 counties included in a separate state of emergency declaration by the governor.

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10:45 a.m.

Actress Jennifer Garner is urging support for a charity she is involved with that is assisting families following devastating flooding in West Virginia.

Garner grew up in Charleston and is a member of the Save the Children board of trustees. The group offers early education, literacy, activity and nutrition programs for children.

It partners with local schools to help nearly 2,000 children in West Virginia. Three of the counties it serves have been ravaged by flooding: Roane, Calhoun and Nicholas. Garner says her "heart is breaking" for the state.

The group's West Virginia director, Anna Hardway, says it has been unable to make contact with half of the families in its programs due to flood-related power and phone outages.

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7:15 a.m.

Jim Justice, the Democratic nominee for governor of West Virginia, says he will pause his campaign for at least two weeks so he can concentrate on helping flood victims.

Justice says he has started a relief fund called Neighbors Loving Neighbors to help those who lost their homes or other possessions in last week's devastating floods that killed 23 people.

He says "politicking is the last thing that's on my mind," and though his headquarters will remain open, he won't personally campaign.

Thousands of homes and businesses across the mountainous state were damaged or destroyed when up to 9 inches of rain fell in a short span, causing perhaps the worst flooding West Virginia has seen in three decades. More than 400 people are living in shelters statewide.

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4 a.m.

Like the other business operators on Main Street in Rainelle, Pamela Wallace Arnold is slowly cleaning up from West Virginia's worst flooding in decades. She's also preparing to help bury the dead.

She runs Wallace and Wallace, one of two funeral chapels in this rain-soaked West Virginia town of 1,500 residents. Wallace is doing double duty drying out her business started by her great-great-grandfather in 1926 while planning the funerals of flood victims in the coming days.

Rainelle is in Greenbrier County, where 15 of the state's 23 deaths from last week's devastating floods have occurred.

Where the visitations will be held, not even Wallace knows. She's also not sure whether she can ever reopen at the same location.

She just understands the community needs her.

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