CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Tuesday asked the federal government for individual assistance in 20 West Virginia counties affected by the June 29 derecho.
Tomblin previously won an appeal to secure individual assistance in Kanawha, Nicholas, Raleigh and Fayette counties after the Federal Emergency Management Agency had initially turned down his request for individual assistance for 24 counties.
Since Tomblin won the appeal, he's been working with federal officials to include the additional counties, according to a press release from his office.
"Our families, seniors and individuals in these 20 counties need additional help to fully recover from the June storm," Tomblin said in a news release. "While I'm grateful to the many individuals and organizations who have worked hard to help families and businesses throughout our state, the need stretches beyond their means.
"An expansion of the July federal disaster declaration to include individual assistance can mean the world of difference for many," he said.
The governor's office has done a more comprehensive assessment of the damage than before and officials think the new information will be enough to gain FEMA's approval.
"We have more comprehensive information that we feel will allow us that FEMA assistance," said Amy Shuler Goodwin, Tomblin's spokeswoman.
The June 29 derecho and subsequent storms knocked out power to about 680,000 customers across West Virginia and left three people dead.
Tomblin wants individual assistance to include the Individuals and Households Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Legal Services, Disaster Supplemental Food Nutrition Assistance Program and Crisis Counseling, as well as Small Business Administration disaster loans.
In a joint statement Tuesday, Rep. Nick Rahall, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Joe Manchin, all D-W.Va., added their support to the governor's request.