Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on Friday asked for federal disaster assistance to help 22 localities recover from Hurricane Irene, which caused about $39 million in damage to public property and emergency response costs.

The governor requested aid 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.

Other governments can be added at a later time if the request is approved.

“I do not want to delay the process of getting federal assistance to the local governments that need it,’’ McDonnell said. “If the president approves my request, then we will be able to add localities as additional damage reports come in to our Department of Emergency Management.”

McDonnell also asked for Hazard Mitigation Assistance — which helps local and state authorities prepare for future disasters — for all Virginia localities.

McDonnell’s office has not yet released the damage cost to individuals. That is expected to occur sometime next week.