Sunday, July 21, 2024

Trump declares federal state of emergency for Virginia

President Donald Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration for Virginia in advance of Hurricane Florence, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

The declaration will mobilize federal emergency response assets to preposition resources for hurricane response in Virginia and will allow Virginia to seek federal reimbursement for the significant cost of responding to and recovering from impacts caused by Hurricane Florence.

Trump approved similar declarations for North and South Carolina.

“We requested this federal declaration to bring additional federal resources for response and recovery efforts across the Commonwealth,” Northam said. “This declaration will also help ensure we’re better able to respond to the effects of the storm. I appreciate the willingness of our federal partners to join in our coordinated emergency response efforts.”

Federal emergency declarations supplement state and local or Indian tribal government efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.

Forecasts and data suggest that Hurricane Florence could have devastating impacts across Virginia, including storm surges, inland flooding, downed trees and loss of power, according to the governor’s office.

On Saturday, Northam declared a state of emergency for Virginia, and on Monday he requested federal assistance and ordered mandatory evacuations of residents living in Zone A, Virginia’s low-lying coastal areas in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. The governor has urged all Virginians to begin making storm preparations immediately.

“This is a serious storm,” Northam said, describing Zone A as the “most flood-prone area of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore.”

“I’m giving this announcement to give residents, families, schools and businesses time to prepare,” Northam said, urging Zone A residents to go to “higher ground and inland.”

Virginians should check their zone at knowyourzoneva.org, and can call 2-1-1 for information on their zone or local shelters.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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