McDonnell requests disaster assistance for victims of Tropical Storm Lee

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has requested federal disaster assistance to help families in Fairfax and Prince William Counties in the wake of Tropical Storm Lee, which slammed Northern Virginia with heavy rainfall and flooding Sept. 8-9.

“The heavy rain from Tropical Storm Lee caused catastrophic damage to neighborhoods and businesses in Fairfax and Prince William counties,” Mr. McDonnell said.

The governor requested aid through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program, which makes funding available through grants, low-interest loans, and direct housing assistance. The governor also requested disaster unemployment assistance, legal services, and crisis counseling.

About 500 people were displaced from their homes in Prince William County, many from the Holly Acres mobile park home. The county board of supervisors approved a transfer of $40,000 to the county chapter of the American Red Cross to assist victims, and the county had collected about $75,000 through SPARK, an Education Foundation for the county schools, to assist in the recovery.

More than 100 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage.

Fairfax County, meanwhile, notably the Huntington community, was also hit hard. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, at the behest of Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland, Mount Vernon Democrat, asked county staff to look into a 2012 bond referendum that could include flood mitigation funding for the community.

Mr. McDonnell’s request for FEMA individual assistance in the wake of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Mineral, Va., that struck on Aug. 23  was recently denied. The governor said he would appeal. Damage assessments for residential properties are nearly $15 million, mostly in uninsured costs.

However, 48 localities, including the city of Alexandria, have been approved for federal disaster public assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irene. That assistance covers government and certain nonprofit costs for damage to roads, buildings and equipment, debris removal and emergency services.

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