Gov. Jim Justice realigns flood relief program
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
Governor Jim Justice finally spoke out Monday in a news conference about the flood recovery program, RISE West Virginia, and he presented a new team that will now lead the recovery efforts.
In a recent Eyewitness News iTeam investigation, a Clay County woman shared her story of losing her home in the June 2016 flood. RISE West Virginia committed to replacing Pam Street's home, but she was unsure if that would ever happen.
After listening to Governor Justice's words on Monday Street said she is more hopeful, but she still has many questions.
"Another hope and another waiting game," Street said. "Hopefully I don't get my hopes up again."
Street said each time she got a call from a RISE West Virginia case worker it was always a dead end.
"They've been through hell and back, and that's all there is to it," Governor Justice said.
Governor Jim Justice announced Monday that people like Street may be closer to receiving the help RISE West Virginia promised to provide but never did.
"You're going to see the uncovering basically of internal and external problems that we're going to fix, and we're going to fix it right here with these very people," Justice said.
Justice put in place a new team to get the RISE West Virginia flood recovery moving.
Major General James Hoyer, with the West Virginia National Guard said the number one priority is identifying how many people are still in need of help.
"There have been 1,506 families that have signed off that they have recovered, but all that still doesn't matter until we get the last family signed off," Hoyer said.
Street said that is a long list of families.
"You wonder and you worry, but there are people worse off that me. I'm lucky I have a roof over my head," Street said.
She's praying this time the hope she's feeling will be proven true.
"We'd had so many false hopes that you just don't know. If it's going to go through, how long it's going to take," Street said.
Governor Justice said to give him a month, and then expect to see progress made by the new RISE West Virginia team.