President Obama has granted a request for federal aid to state and local governments in Virginia for recovery from Hurricane Irene.
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who announced the decision Saturday, made the request for assistance to help 22 localities recover from the storm, which caused about $39 million in damage to public property and emergency response costs.
Obama also granted Hazard Mitigation Assistance — which helps local and state authorities prepare for future disasters — for all Virginia localities.
“I want to thank FEMA for making a quick decision on our request for disaster assistance,” McDonnell (R) said Saturday. “I expect to pursue additional disaster assistance once our damage assessments are complete.”
Aid will be made available for the following governments: the counties of Essex, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Middlesex, New Kent, Richmond, Southampton, Sussex, Westmoreland and York; and the cities of Chesapeake, Emporia, Hampton, Hopewell, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.
FEMA told state officials that more localities may be added following further evaluation. Federal disaster assistance funds are awarded through a reimbursement process that can take months, and in some cases, years.
McDonnell’s office has not yet released the damage cost to individuals. That is expected to occur sometime next week after which he will make a decision about whether to ask for more federal assistance.