Obama declares emergency in Va.

Published 11:33 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

Virginia received a pre-landfall federal emergency declaration from President Obama in anticipation of major damage by Hurricane Irene.

The action allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide supplies, equipment and other resources to state and local officials responding to Irene, said Gov. Bob McDonnell.

“I asked the president for the emergency declaration to assure that local and state governments have the necessary support they need to quickly address the needs of Virginians in the aftermath of this powerful storm,” said Governor McDonnell. “This step makes us even better prepared to start response and recovery measures to save lives and protect property.”

The president’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures to lessen the threat of the hurricane in the counties of Accomack, Northampton, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland and New Kent and the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.

The federal emergency declaration does not provide disaster assistance to individuals. There is a separate process to request that assistance, which usually comes after the storm’s passage.