Kanawha commissioners look to secure FEMA grant for Blue Creek Road improvements

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission is applying for federal relief related to issues involving Blue Creek Road in Elkview.

The commission has spent months discussing problems blocking access to more than 200 homes, such as multiple landslides. The commission agreed last month to issue a notice of violation against Columbia Gas Transmission LLC for violating the public nuisance ordinance related to land adjacent to the road.

Commissioners discussed Thursday a letter from state officials about applying for a FEMA grant to fix the road.

“It occurred to me that the 2016 FEMA flood work is not closed, it’s still open,” Commission President Kent Carper said. “It further occurred to me that the water caused this problem besides the owner’s negligence perhaps, so why not apply for FEMA money based upon the wonderful suggestion made by the state?”

Carper said it is not too late for the commission to submit a request for assistance.

“That doesn’t stop us from what we are doing right now,” he added. “What we are doing right now is perfectly appropriate.”

The commission also agreed to pay attorney Isaac Forman around $15,000 for his two months working on the issue. Forman is a partner of the Hissam, Forman, Donovan, Ritchie law firm.