RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia is seeking federal disaster assistance for the estimated $27.5 million spent by the state and local governments to respond to late June wind and thunderstorms that left 15 dead and 1.3 million utility customers without power.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said the June 29-July 1 storms, which included hail and fierce winds known in meteorological terms as a derecho, "required extraordinary response and recovery efforts at the local and state levels." Forty-seven localities declared emergencies.
"Our first responders, state agencies and private partners worked around the clock for an extended period of time during the storm and in its aftermath to keep our citizens safe and restore services," McDonnell said Monday in a statement.
The estimated cost of the storms to state and local governments does not include damage to private property, the state Department of Emergency Management said.
McDonnell said he is requesting the assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. State emergency management officials received the post-storm assessments from local governments and determined that Virginia should meet all the requirements for federal public assistance, he said.
Some costs that are eligible for reimbursement include the activation of emergency crews to respond to the storm, the opening of shelters, property repairs and the removal of debris.
The announcement that Virginia was seeking federal assistance from the storms also increased the previous number of deaths linked to the storm by two. One death involved a person who was found July 15 near live electrical wires in Arlington, while the other occurred July 18 in Franklin County and was caused by felled trees.