CHARLESTON, WV - Gov. Joe Manchin requested for a federal disaster declaration Feb. 10 to assist several counties affected by the Dec. 18 winter storm that severely hampered transportation and left thousands of West Virginians without electricity and heat for several days.

"I spoke with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today and asked for her department's and the president's assistance, as the state braces to make it through yet another weather storm," Gov. Joe Manchin said. "The secretary is concerned and she assured me that her department has been monitoring our area and the storms over the past few weeks. I appreciate her call and her willingness to assist us in any way possible." 

The counties included in the official request are: Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Ritchie, Roane and Wyoming. The initial damage estimates exceed $3 million. 

The governor may request additional counties be added to the federal disaster declaration in the new few days.