President Obama called Gov. Bob McDonnell on Thursday afternoon to express his “personal sadness’’ over the loss of life and property in Virginia from a recent rash of storms, according to a spokesman for McDonnell.

“The governor greatly appreciated the president’s call and his sincere concern for the people of Virginia,’’ McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said.

Obama told McDonnell that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would be working with Virginia officials on federal assistance with recovery efforts. The two spoke for five minutes.

A series of storms spawned tornadoes, hail and heavy rain that left eight people dead. At least seven people were killed in Washington County in Southwest Virginia when a storm hit a truck stop and several mobile homes and houses in the Glade Spring area.

McDonnell will travel to Washington County on Friday.