Senate must approve flood relief measure

As many victims of severe flooding earlier this year have come to learn, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is limited in how much money it can dole out for relief and rebuilding work. A bill scheduled for a vote this afternoon in the U.S. Senate could provide additional help.

Senators are to vote on a continuing resolution providing money for a variety of government activities. Among them are battling the Zika virus and addressing the epidemic of opioid abuse in many states.

Last week, a $500 million addition was made to the bill. It would provide Community Development Block Grant funding for West Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland and other states hit hard by flooding this year.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said members of the panel added the funding because they “recognized the scope and scale of the damages incurred by my state” during the flooding in June. “Getting these resources out to our communities quickly will help those families who are just beginning to rebuild get back on their feet,” Capito added.

While initial coverage of devastating floods in our state and Louisiana was extensive, the national news media has moved on to other topics, including the race for president.

But in West Virginia, Louisiana and a few other states, tens of thousands of people have not been able to move on. Many flood victims simply do not know where to turn for help.

Providing federal aid in addition to FEMA funding is essential. The Senate should approve the budget resolution — with aid for flood victims included — to provide some hope where very little exists today.

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