FEMA: 1,000 Applications Received for W.Va. Flooding Assistance So Far

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has received over 1,000 applications for assistance so far, after the devastating flooding that slammed West Virginia.

Those numbers reflect applications from only three counties FEMA has designated eligible for federal funding -- Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas counties -- so the number of applications may increase if additional counties are added to the eligibility list.

"As of [Monday] morning, more than 1,000 individuals and households in these counties have applied for federal funding," a FEMA spokesman told ABC News. "We will be conducting PDAs in several other affected counties over the next few days in order to determine their eligibility for federal funding."

The preliminary damage assessments conducted by FEMA in the aforementioned trio of counties resulted in President Obama issuing a major disaster declaration for the state of West Virginia on June 25, the spokesman said.

"This declaration has released federal funding for individuals and communities affected by the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that began on June 22nd, 2016 and are ongoing," the spokesman said.

The federal agency said it has also deployed over 250 staff to the state to assist in response and recovery.

And there are 470 West Virginia National Guard troops on the ground, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said during a press conference Monday.

FEMA also said in a statement Monday that the first Disaster Recovery Center "is planned to be open soon, where survivors can go to get assistance and information."

Twenty-three people died as a result of the flooding, the worst the state has seen in three decades.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statue

Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statueMark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer will issue a statement Friday afternoon after canceling a news conference at which he was expected to "make a major announcement" regarding the local statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the legacy of the woman killed during a protest sparked by the city's plans to remove the statue.

His news conference had been scheduled for noon on Friday, but the mayor tweeted Friday morning that "we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon."

FYI all: we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon. Stay tuned.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

FYI, the reason for the change is we decided a statement rather than a press event was the best medium for the ideas I want to convey today.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

The statement comes six days after a Unite the Right rally sparked by Charlottesville's plan to remove the Lee statue from a local park turned deadly.

The rally was attended by neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They were met with hundreds of counterprotesters, which led to street brawls and violent clashes.

A driver plowed into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring several others. The suspected driver is in custody, facing charges including second-degree murder.

Despite the "painful" event, "we’re not going to let them define us,” Signer told ABC News earlier this week of the agitators.

"They’re not going to tell our story," he said. "We’re going to tell our story. And outsiders -- their time has come and gone. This city is back on their feet, and we’re going to be better than ever despite this."

Signer compared his hopes for Charlottesville's recovery to the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in June 2015 that killed nine people. The gunman in that attack said he wanted to start a race war, but the tragedy instead united the city.

"There’s a memorial right now in front of Charlottesville City Hall that’s flowers and a heart that talks about the love that we have here. Those are the images that are going to replace these horrific ones from this weekend. That’s the work that we have as a country," Signer said.

"That’s what happened in Charleston. There were those horrible images of those people bloodied and killed and weeping from the church. But they were replaced quickly, steadily, by the work that started to happen. By people who said, 'You’re not going to tell our story for us. We’re going to tell our story.'

"And that’s what’s happening in this community. That’s my work as the mayor here -- is not to allow these hateful people who just don’t get this country to define us," he said. "And they’re not going to define us."

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