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County recaps storm aid

By Staff | Sep 19, 2012

SISTERSVILLE – Tyler County residents affected by the storms and winds in late June still may have a chance to receive individual assistance if an appeal to a ruling against the measure is overturned.

During a meeting of the Tyler County Local Emergency Planning Council, Tyler County Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper said while public assistance was declared almost immediately after the storms, that money is different from individual assistance. The public assistance dollars go to the county in an effort to cover direct expenses caused by the storm, but do not help individuals who may be in need of a new roof or other assistance, Cooper said.

Cooper said an appeal is still pending regarding the individual assistance money, though there is no timeline for when that decision could be made. He said though the county is thankful for the public assistance money from FEMA, many counties throughout the state aren’t so lucky.

“Many counties are strapped just to get through the storm knowing FEMA money comes back,” he said. “I don’t know what they’d do without it.”

Also during the meeting, Cooper said he has been approached by contractors working for Antero Resources about taking part in a training session involving company representatives and officials from county fire, police and emergency departments. Cooper said the county would serve as a “guinea pig” for the company’s new training procedure.

However, Cooper was also quick to point out the county has engaged with several other companies in similar training, including Triad Hunter, to ensure all involved parties are as prepared as possible in the event an emergency happens.

Cooper said many companies working in the county have been proactive, including sending representatives to the monthly LEPC meetings. He said the meetings are intended to keep on open dialogue instead of waiting for something to happen.

In addition to keeping the lines of communication open with company officials, Cooper said in the near future there are plans in place to better communicate to residents of Tyler County what is happening on well sites and what they need to know about those operations. He said grant funding secured through the LEPC could help provide courses and seminars to provide awareness to the general public.

The next meeting of the Tyler County Local Emergency Planning Committee is set for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 at the Sistersville Fire Department.