Disaster Assistance

Virginia is in an unusual position of having to ask the federal government for disaster assistance as result of four natural disasters occurring back-to-back.  But  even if FEMA denies some claims, the Commonwealth will still have to rebuild and find funding to help repair the damage.

FEMA already denied assistance for the tornadoes in May, but has granted SOME funding for the earthquake, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee.  Virginia Department of Emergency Management Director Michael Cline told the Senate Finance Committee that the earthquake alone caused $14-million in damage.

Cline says it remains to be seen if FEMA will provide funds for other claims.  He said some state costs were mitigated because for the first time, the primary flooding areas had flood insurance.  Additional damages include $87 million  to private property, $130 million  to agriculture, and $52 million in local government costs.

–Tommie McNeil

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