Washington Co. Officials Look For Financial Assistance After Storm

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Officials from Ohio and Federal Emergency Management Agency met with nearly thirty Washington County government and non-profit organizations after meeting the first requirement of damage from the June storm.
This is considered only the preliminary meeting, no assistance is promised.

"This is the worst damage the Washington Electric Cooperative has faced in recent years," says the CEO of Washington Electric Cooperative Inc, Ken Schilling.

A storm that leaves the biggest impact on the wallet.

"It was overtime, it was tree removal, it's building damage issues, equipment," explains Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz.

Now organizations throughout Washington County are analyzing their preliminary costs hoping for some relief.

"54 to 56 thousand dollars is what it cost us, that's the use of overtime, the equipment like I said, the extra fuel, in that everything runs on diesel fuel instead of electric when you're down so that cost is all in that figure," says Mayor Lorentz.

"Million dollar in losses would be time, materials, in materials we'd have everything from conductor to actual broken poles that we would have to replace and again those are still being replaced," continues Schilling. "And labor, we have a lot of travel expenses and a lot of equipment expenses."

And whether it's a hundred or a million, all organizations say the money they've lost is taking a toll. Officials from Ohio EMA and FEMA met to discuss extra costs from the damage of the storm.

" There are definitely a lot of debris removal issues, particularly for the city of Marietta which is who I spoke with and then Washington County Cooperative would've had some significant cost during the power restoration,' explains Ohio EMA representative, Laura Adcock.

Now FEMA will have to take several factors to determine if financial help will come. "They look at income, insurance coverage.. then they also look at the dollar value of the event, there are some certain thresh holds that will need to be met for the counties and for the state," continues Adcock.

If Washington County qualifies this could be the first of many meetings.
No assistance is guaranteed.
Thirty-eight other Ohio counties have also qualified for the preliminary interviews.

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