Kanawha County will get $3.2 million from the federal government to cover the cost of cleaning up after a 2015 landslide damaged Yeager Airport’s safety overrun area and destroyed several buildings at the base of the hill below the airport.
The money, which comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the final piece of about $25 million in federal funds received by the county, according to County Commission President Kent Carper.
“When this first happened, I never thought I’d see the day,” Carper said of getting all the county’s cleanup costs covered.
Monday’s new grant is the final portion of funding for the airport in relation to the runway collapse. The grant, marked for debris cleanup, was initially denied. Airport officials appealed the decision, prompting the award, according to a news release from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., issued a news release noting her chairmanship of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds FEMA, and praising FEMA Region III Administrator Mary Ann Tierney for her help.
“This funding comes after many meetings and conversations with FEMA to do right by the folks impacted by the slide,” she said. “After all the work Yeager went through filing an appeal after their reimbursement request was initially denied, I’m glad this is the end result.”
Manchin made similar remarks in a news release.
“As the largest airport in the state, Yeager Airport serves as an important gateway to our beautiful state and a vital transportation hub for our state and economy,” he said. “As a pilot, I know how critical Yeager Airport is to the entire state. Since the devastating landslide in 2015, I have worked closely with airport officials, the FAA, and FEMA to secure the funding necessary for Yeager to rebuild its runways and continue servicing West Virginians and our visitors.“