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Virginia Delegation Sends Letter To President Obama Supporting Gov. McDonnell’s Request For Federal Disaster Assistance

Washington, D.C. – The entire Virginia U.S. Congressional delegation today announced that they have sent a letter to President Obama supporting Governor McDonnell’s request for federal disaster assistance for Gloucester, Halifax, Middlesex, Pulaski, and Washington Counties as a result of last week’s severe storms. The full text of the letter is below, and the PDF version is attached.

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we write to express our support for Governor Robert F. McDonnell’s request for declaration of a major disaster for the Counties of Gloucester, Halifax, Middlesex, Pulaski, and Washington stemming from the series of severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes that occurred between April 8 and 28, 2011. 

In this period of repeated severe storms, Governor McDonnell has declared a state of emergency on three separate occasions.  This pattern of severe weather events produced tornadoes, high winds, and heavy rains that severely damaged homes and businesses in many communities across Virginia.  Damage assessments indicate that these storms destroyed or damaged over a thousand structures, injured dozens of citizens, and took the lives of ten persons.

We commend the Commonwealth and the affected localities for coordinating the response to these emergencies, the costs of which are extensive.  Like many areas in the Southeast that have been devastated by recent storms, these communities are overwhelmed by the destruction caused by these storms and need supplemental federal assistance to recover and rebuild.  Given these circumstances, Governor McDonnell requests declaration of a major disaster for the entire period of severe weather that transpired between April 8 and April 28, 2011. 

Pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, we respectfully request that you grant Governor McDonnell’s request for individual assistance for these communities.  We will provide you with more information about the situation as it becomes available, as the Governor may request assistance for additional localities as appropriate. Thank you for your expeditious consideration of this request.