By Stephen Smoot
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and US Small Business Administration attended the Harrison County Commission meeting on Feb 7 to share important information. Local operations opened on the heels of a declaration concerning flooding in Harrison County last summer.
Although the releases from the agencies say otherwise, the representatives present at the meeting urged those wishing to apply to do so in person at the centers. “We always encourage citizens to apply at the centers,” the SBA representative said, explaining that “it’s more difficult online.”
“They can answer all the questions. They can help you with the documents,” he added.
The FEMA release stated that “a state-federal Disaster Recovery Center will open tomorrow Feb. 7, 2024, at 8 a.m. at the Harrison County Courthouse in Clarksburg to help West Virginia residents affected by the severe flooding that occurred Aug. 28- 30, 2023. Residents can get help with their disaster assistance applications, upload documents and get questions answered about federal disaster assistance.”
The center will open at the Harrison County Courthouse on 301 West Main Street in Clarksburg. Time of operation ranges from 8 AM to 6 PM Monday through Saturday with Sunday hours possible in the future.
Those who cannot get to the physical center can go to disasterassistance.gov or call 1 800 621-3362 between 7 AM and 11 PM any day.
The Harrison County Courthouse will also host the SBA’s Business Recovery Center with a second opening in Charleston.
“Our Business Recovery Centers are one of the most powerful resources at SBA’s disposal to support business owners,” said Francisco Sanchez, Jr., Associate Administrator, Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience in a release from the agency. “Business owners can meet in-person with our specialists to apply for SBA disaster loans and get information on the full breadth of our programs designed to help them navigate their recovery.”
The release also stated that “customer Service Representatives at SBA’s Business Recovery Centers will assist business owners complete their disaster loan application, accept documents for existing applications, and provide status on loan applications. The Centers will operate as indicated below until further notice.”
Both centers opened to assist those whose property or business was damaged in the flooding event that occurred between August 28 and 30 last year.