Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is seeking federal disaster aid for people in Fairfax and Prince William counties affected by the heavy rains and flooding from last month’s Tropical Storm Lee.
The request comes just days after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Virginia’s request for help recovering from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Aug. 23. McDonnell said last week that he would appeal that decision.
More than 100 homes and business were destroyed or heavily damaged by the tropical storm, which struck Sept. 8 to 9, according to damage estimates by FEMA and the Small Business Administration. About 500 people were displaced from homes in Prince William County, the governor’s office said.
“The heavy rain from Tropical Storm Lee caused catastrophic damage to neighborhoods and businesses in Fairfax and Prince William counties,” McDonnell said. “Federal assistance is critical in helping people who suffered significant losses.”
McDonnell has asked for a federal disaster declaration, which is needed to obtain aid through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. The program provides grants, low-interest loans, housing assistance, unemployment assistance, legal services and crisis counseling to homeowners and renters.
McDonnell also has requested Hazard Mitigation Assistance for the entire state. That would help local and state governments reduce the impact of future disasters by taking actions such as removing structures from hazard areas and conducting public education campaigns.