The Washington Post

McDonnell invites Obama to tour earthquake-damaged Louisa County

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) sent President Obama a letter Tuesday, inviting him to tour Louisa County while he is in Virginia next week.

Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Virginia’s request for aid to help property owners affected by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the state Aug. 23. The epicenter was in tiny Mineral in Louisa County, southwest of Washington.

“You undoubtedly felt the tremors in Washington D.C., almost 100 miles away, and have witnessed the damage to Washington’s landmarks . . . but you cannot truly understand the magnitude of the impacts at the epicenter of this historic event until you have seen them first-hand,” McDonnell wrote in his letter to Obama.

McDonnell, who also is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, is appealing the decision. Damage to residential property is estimated at nearly $15 million, mostly in uninsured costs.

Obama will travel to Virginia and North Carolina as part of a three-day bus tour Oct. 17-19 to discuss jobs and the economy, according to a White House official.

The White House has not released details of Obama’s trip, but Democrats have heard that he will visit Danville, Charlottesville, Newport News and Fredericksburg.

In 2008, Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Virginia in more than four decades, but in the years since, Democrats have lost ground in what some still consider a conservative Southern state. The GOP controls most of Richmond and holds a commanding majority of Virginia’s congressional delegation.

The White House did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.


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