Group works to get flood victims much-needed help

VOAD caseworkers were at the church from 9:30 a.m. until noon.
VOAD caseworkers were at the church from 9:30 a.m. until noon.(WSAZ)
Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 4:19 PM EST
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Getting victims of the devastating 2016 floods the help they need was the focus Thursday of a meeting in Clay County.

Jenny Gannaway, executive director of the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) group, said the goal was to reach as many flood victims as possible to get them assigned to a caseworker.

Since 2016, the group has helped relocate more than 2,300 families, Gannaway said. Thursday's meeting took place at Risen Lord Catholic Church.

Eligibility for the state RISE program is on a case-by-case basis. Most victims have to meet a certain level of income in their county and show proof that their home was damaged by the floods. They also must have the deed to their home, as well as residing there at the time of the flood.

If someone does not have the deed to their house, VOAD will work with them to obtain documents for eligibility.

Norma Seabolt, a Clay County resident, said her son was a victim of the 2016 floods. She says she is concerned about VOAD.

"My son and his wife was a flood victim, too, and they put new stuff in their house stuff (like) heating, cooling," Seabolt said. "They put the biggest stuff, like you would from an office building, and they have no power now".

Gannaway said VOAD caseworkers work hard with families to ensure they will be able to afford new homes. She also said they only replace what was in the homes during the flooding.

Gannaway encourages anyone with similar problems to contact her office immediately.