The Washington Post

FEMA denies Virginia’s request for aid for earthquake damage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Virginia’s request for aid to help property owners affected by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the state Aug. 23. 

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said Friday that he was disappointed and will immediately appeal. 

“Disaster relief and public safety are core functions of the federal government,’’ McDonnell said in a statement. “Unfortunately, volunteer groups are ill-equipped to repair earthquake damage and while state and local officials are doing everything they can, federal assistance is necessary in ensuring that affected Virginians are able to get their homes back in working order and get back on their feet again.” 

 Damage to residential property is estimated at nearly $15 million, mostly in uninsured costs. The Individual Assistance Program would have provided money to homeowners, renters and businesses in the form of low-interest loans and grants, unemployment assistance, disaster housing assistance and crisis counseling.

“If damage from a once-in-a-generation, 5.8-magnitude earthquake does not qualify for federal disaster relief, then I don’t know what does,’’ Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a statement.


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