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2016 flood victims still looking for help from RISE West Virginia program

A disabled man in Fayette County said he has received no help from a multi-million dollar state run program that’s left him living in his storm damaged, flooded out mobile home nearly two years after deadly floods devastated West Virginia. (WCHS/WVAH)

A disabled man in Fayette County said he has received no help from a multi-million dollar state run program that’s left him living in his storm damaged, flooded out mobile home nearly two years after deadly floods devastated West Virginia.

“There ain't a thing we can do. When you're waiting on the government, it's hurry up and wait,” disabled Meadow Bridge resident Randy Ayers said.

Ayers said he’s still waiting for help from the RISE West Virginia program after storms and flooding left his trailer with black mold issues, a floor that’s falling apart, a damaged roof, and electrical system.

He said RISE has told him they’re waiting to do an environmental inspection to determine if he should fix or replace the 55-year-old mobile home.

After an Eyewitness News report on the frustrations of 2016 flood victims, leaders of the West Virginia House and Senate are asking a legislative committee to review RISE, a program created to help flood victims obtain housing assistance.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) agrees there should be an investigation into the program.

“You know when you have money sitting there to the tune of 100s of millions of dollars, why is that money not getting to those folks. That is very frustrating,” Capito said.

Ayers said he asked for help after the June 2016 floods and again after another flood in June 2017. He’s still waiting for that help.

"They got control of the money but it ain't going to the people that needs it,” Ayers said.

The program is administered by the West Virginia Development Office within the West Virginia Department of Commerce. RISE and related state officials have not responded to requests for an interview.

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