RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that President Barack Obama has granted a request for federal disaster assistance to state and local governments in areas of Virginia recovering from Hurricane Matthew. Localities eligible for Public Assistance (PA) are the cities of Franklin, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.
“This assistance will help ensure our local and community partners receive the appropriate funds in order to begin a path to full recovery from the severe damage incurred by Hurricane Matthew,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I want to thank President Obama, FEMA, our Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) team and all local government officials for their accelerated coordination in this declaration. Our number one priority will always be the safety of the residents in our Commonwealth.”
Hurricane Matthew hit on October 7, 2016 and a federal major disaster was declared on November 2, 2016. More than 11 inches of rain fell across southeastern Virginia in a 24 hour period and peak wind gusts reached 78 mph. After conferring with VDEM officials and personally surveying the damage from the storm, Governor McAuliffe requested federal aid.
The declaration makes FEMA’s Public Assistance program available to cover eligible government and certain nonprofit costs. This program provides federal funds for debris removal, repairs to critical infrastructure, roads, buildings and equipment, and related emergency services. The PA program is different from Individual Assistance (IA), which provides direct financial aid to citizens and businesses. State and federal officials will continue to work with local governments over the coming months until all repairs and eligible projects have been completed.
Inormation about the Public Assistance declaration is available at http://www.vaemergency.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/4291FRN2PAAdd-ons.pdf.
FEMA had already approved Individual Assistance to residents in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Newport News. Dr. Jeff Stern, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, has requested Individual Assistance for Portsmouth, Hampton, Suffolk, Isle of Wight and York County and the Commonwealth is waiting for the President to make that determination. Information about the declaration and how to apply for individual assistance is available at http://www.vaemergency.gov.