REP. JENKINS ANNOUNCES FLOOD PREVENTION GRANTS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) announced today that West Virginia is receiving more than $5.6 million in matching federal funds for flood prevention and watershed restoration projects.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the U.S. Agriculture Department, awarded West Virginia $5.625 million for six projects:

Cherry River, Nicholas County, $250,000, focusing on protecting and restoring watershed that was damaged during the June 2016 floods. The project will also improve water quality.

Elkhorn Creek, McDowell County, $250,000, which is part of the greater Tug Fork Watershed. The project will prevent future flood damages, improve water quality and increase watershed resiliency.

Elk River Headways, Clendenin, Kanawha County, $750,000, focusing on flood prevention from the June 2016 floods. The project will prevent future flood damages, improve water quality and increase watershed resiliency.

Sewell and Boggs creeks, Rainelle, Greenbrier County, $750,000, focusing on flood prevention from the June 2016 floods. The project will prevent future flood damages, improve water quality, and increase watershed resiliency.

Upper Deckers Creek Watershed, Richard Mine, Monongalia County, $3,375,000. The project will restore five miles of Deckers Creek, a tributary of the Monongahela River, improving water quality and restoring aquatic life.

Upper Guyandotte Watershed, Wyoming County, $250,000. The project will prevent future flood damages, improve water quality, and increase watershed resiliency.

“West Virginia’s unique geography and terrain is beautiful, but it also makes us much more vulnerable to flooding. We saw this just last year when historic, unprecedented flooding devastated West Virginia communities. These projects will prevent future flood damages, restore damaged lands, and clean up our creeks and tributaries. I thank the Natural Resources Conservation Service for their support of these West Virginia projects and local sponsors and look forward to seeing the results,” Rep. Jenkins said.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations program received $150 million in May for Fiscal Year 2017. Rep. Jenkins urged the Natural Resources Conservation Service to use a portion of that funding for projects in West Virginia, considering the deadly 2016 floods.

During a House Appropriations Committee markup in July, Rep. Jenkins secured an additional $5 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to rehabilitate aging dams and reduce flooding, sedimentation and erosion damage. Specifically, the Jenkins amendment would increase watershed rehabilitation funding for rural states with high-hazard dams and other facilities where floods have recently caused fatalities.

The service and its partners operate and maintain 170 dams across West Virginia, which provide more than $85 million annually in benefits.

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