President Obama has signed a major disaster declaration for Virginia following last month's severe storms.
Several thousand people lost power across the Commonwealth, and several homes and businesses were damaged.
The declaration means federal funding is now available for the state and eligible local governments.
Fifteen people died from storm-related injuries across the state. At one point 1.3 million people were without power.
Some costs that will be eligible for reimbursement are activation of emergency crews, opening of shelters and cooling centers, debris removal, and repairs to publicly-owned property (roads, water and sewer systems, electrical systems).
Virginia was not eligible for FEMA's Individual Assistance program, which provides aid to individuals with uninsured losses. According to Governor McDonnell's office, that's because most private property that was damaged was insured.
The governor is encouraging people to donate to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. In previous disasters $1.4 million has been distributed from that fund to volunteer and recovery groups in 15 localities.
Here is the news release from the White House:
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia and ordered Federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and straight-line winds during the period of June 29 to July 1, 2012.
Federal funding is available to commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and straight-line winds in the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Arlington, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Buckingham, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Fauquier, Floyd, Fluvanna, Frederick, Giles, Greene, Halifax, Highland, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Nelson, New Kent, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Tazewell, and Warren and the independent cities of Bedford, Charlottesville, Covington, Danville, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Manassas Park, Martinsville, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, and Winchester.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Donald L. Keldsen as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
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