CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- President Obama issued a "major disaster declaration" for West Virginia late Monday afternoon.
The declaration will generate federal funds to help local communities recover from the damages caused by "severe storms and straight-line winds" between June 29 and July 1.
The counties designated for federal financial help include 45 of the state's 55 counties: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming counties.
Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said, "The president's disaster declaration will help to get the ball rolling toward recovery. I welcome the federal aid for emergency work and the repair of out state's public facilities and critical services."
Federal funds, Rahall said, can also be used to implement "long-term hazard mitigation measures to reduce the impact of future storms."
Rahall, ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the White House to get money to help the state every since the storms hit, leaving more than 680,000 West Virginians without power.
Federal funds will pay to repair or replace public facilities damaged by the severe storms and power outages.