Elkview family says RISE West Virginia program and contractors are not on the same page
Charleston, W.Va. —
Frustration is growing with flood victims in the RISE West Virginia Flood Recovery Program.
One man said he and his wife are just staring at their new home and must live in a 20-foot camper nearly after the June 2016 floods.
Eyewitness News found out what is holding up this man from moving in and where RISE realignment progress stands.
"The keys are in a lock box in the back with a combination thing on it," Steve Strickland of Elkview said.
Strickland and his wife, Patty, stood in their driveway looking at their new trailer home Wednesday, which they got as part of the RISE program. The Strickland's were victims during the 2016 flood.
Strickland said they started the process to get their new home back in February. His old trailer was torn down on March 19, and the new one was delivered in mid-May.
"He said once we get started on your trailer we won't stop until it's finished, this was 14 days ago," Strickland said.
Strickland said he is eager to move in but said he can't. He said he keeps getting mixed messages from the RISE program and the contractors.
"When we signed the contract on it, it was supposed to be a 30-day turnover," Strickland said.
The trailer has no electricity, water, sewage or porches. Strickland said he is frustrated and worried. The couple has been living in a small camper, yards away from their new home. Patty is sick and on oxygen, and growing upset over what she calls lack of communication and professionalism between RISE and the contractor
"They don't care. Neither one of them are fond of each other and they don't know what they are doing," Patty Strickland said.
While the West Virginia National Guard has taken over the RISE program, a spokesperson said they're working "fervently to identify those families and individuals who are in need of assistance and determining how to get things moving forward where there were stopgaps."
But for the Stricklands, they are left waiting for the contractor.
"He told me he was going to Lowe's and be here first thing this morning, nobody showed up," Strickland said.