Gov. McDonnell Requests Federal Emergency Assistance - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Gov. McDonnell Requests Federal Emergency Assistance

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Governor Bob McDonnell is urging you to stay safe as Hurricane Sandy intensifies.  The state is requesting federal public assistance Monday, even before the worst of this storm hits Virginia.

McDonnell took time Monday afternoon to pass along the latest details from across the state.  Depending on where you live, you could be seeing some very different threats from the storm.  But the governor has just one message for everyone - use common sense to stay safe.

Flooding in the east, snow in the west, and heavy rain in the state capital - that was the focus as Governor McDonnell delivered his afternoon briefing on Hurricane Sandy.  "So still a very dangerous weather situation around the entire state," he said.

That includes flooding in the eastern parts of the state, in the Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads areas.  McDonnell said, "This is about the level that we experienced several years ago with Hurricane Isabel."

Major power outages expected across the state.  "We'd be shocked if those numbers don't go up dramatically, especially in northern Virginia," the governor said.

Even blizzard conditions at higher elevations in western parts of the state.  McDonnell said, "We still have the risks of very heavy snow in southwest and western part of Virginia."

"We expected this snow condition, so we were not caught off guard by it," said Gregory Whirley, commissioner of highways for the Virginia Department of Transportation.  "We have positioned extra crews out there to deal with the snow removal."

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says the worst of Hurricane Sandy is still yet to come in some parts of the state.  That's why McDonnell requested federal public assistance and an expedited emergency declaration Monday, which would make resources available to help with the immediate aftermath from the storm.

"We're going to be making our request for expedited assistance today, and we hope it will be granted," McDonnell said. 

Based on a phone call with President Barack Obama Sunday, McDonnell believes those requests for federal assistance will be granted fairly quickly.  In the meantime, he stresses you use common sense as the storm passes through, and stay off the roads at all costs.

Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
Press Release

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today asked for a federal emergency declaration to help Virginia's state and local governments and other agencies respond to and recover from the widespread impacts of Hurricane Sandy. 

The request for the federal Public Assistance program would make funding available to cover eligible costs for emergency protective measures and debris removal.

"I don't want to delay the process of getting federal Public Assistance to the local governments that need it," said Governor McDonnell.  "This is a historic weather event – one we've never seen before – and we expect that there is going to be extensive debris and cost in responding to and recovering from this storm."

This is not a request for federal disaster assistance for individuals.  It is too early to begin making assessments about damage to private property.  The Governor requested Public Assistance for the entire Commonwealth.

Download a copy of the request Governor McDonnell sent to President Obama here.

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