Hurricane Matthew in Virginia: Governor Requests Federal Disaster Declaration on Oct. 21, 2016; Presidential Approval Announced Nov. 2 for Individual Assistance Funds, and Nov. 17 for Funds for State and Local Government Agencies

On October 21, 2016, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe asked President Obama for a federal disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  On November 2, the governor’s office announced that the president had approved the request for federal Individual Assistance programs for the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach; and on November 17, the governor’s office announced approval of federal assistance to state and local government agencies in the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, and in the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.

Here is an excerpt from the governor’s office October 21 news release on the disaster declaration request: “The Governor requested Individual Assistance Programs and Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans for the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, as well as Isle of Wight and York counties.  …The Individual Assistance Programs include the Individuals and Households Program, Transitional Sheltering Assistance, Disaster Case Management, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, and Disaster Legal Services.  If the declaration is granted, these programs would provide affected Virginians with assistance for disaster housing, unemployment assistance, individual housing grants, legal services and crisis counseling.  During the damage assessments—which began Friday [October 14] and were conducted jointly through Tuesday [October 18] by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), FEMA, the SBA, and localities—more than 2,000 homes were determined to have damage from Matthew, ranging from minor to destroyed.  Many of these homes were uninsured because they lie outside the flood zones.  The storm displaced approximately 620 individuals due to flooding.  The damage assessment teams also identified an initial $13.2 million in estimated damages sustained by public facilities and structures.”

Sources:
Governor McAuliffe Requests Federal Disaster Declaration Following Hurricane Matthew, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 10/21/16.
President Obama Approves Federal Aid for Virginians Impacted by Hurricane Matthew, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 11/2/16.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Federal Disaster Assistance for State and Local Governments Impacted by Hurricane Matthew, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 11/17/16.

For more information about Hurricane Matthew, please see this Water Central News Grouper post: Hurricane Matthew Media Accounts and Government Information Sources as of October 21, 2016.

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