On Monday, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine requested federal disaster assistance to reimburse state and local governments for costs associated with the severe winter storm that occurred December 18 through 20 and the ensuing power outages.
Kaine has requested assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse state agencies and 40 localities for damage to public infrastructure, debris removal, related emergency services and snow removal costs.
“This was a major winter storm event and the Commonwealth incurred significant but necessary costs to keep Virginians safe,” says Kaine. “Federal assistance is available for just such a situation and I hope that the federal government will respond promptly to our request.”
More than two feet of snow fell in parts of the Commonwealth requiring major efforts by state and local governments to maintain public safety. The Virginia State Police responded to more than 3,300 traffic crashes and more than 71,000 power outages were reported. During the storm and aftermath, an estimated 2,000 people went to shelters.
Localities in Kaine’s request include the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Amherst, Arlington, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Caroline, Clarke, Craig, Fairfax, Frederick, Grayson, Greene, Hanover, Highland, King George, Louisa, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Orange, Page, Prince William, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Scott, Spotsylvania and Stafford, and the cities of Alexandria, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas Park, Manassas, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton and Waynesboro.
Kaine requested reimbursement for similar costs incurred in ten localities, but these localities did not experience the snowfall required to qualify for snow removal reimbursement. These localities may be eligible for other forms of reimbursement, and include the counties of Buchanan, Culpeper, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Tazewell and Wise, and the cities of Fredericksburg, Norton, and Richmond.
The governor asked FEMA to consider the storm’s impact in another 45 localities that did not meet the snowfall threshold, but nonetheless had significant snow removal costs.
Finally, Kaine requested Hazard Mitigation Assistance for all Virginia localities. The Hazard Mitigation Assistance program helps local and state governments implement measures to reduce the impact of future disasters.