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FEMA denies Va.'s Individual Assistance application

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s request for Individual Assistance for residents whose property was damaged by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Commonwealth on Aug. 23.

Mr. McDonnell said Friday he was “very disappointed,” and would immediately appeal the decision.

“Disaster relief and public safety are core functions of the federal government,” he said. “Unfortunately, volunteer groups are ill-equipped to repair earthquake damage and while state and local officials are doing everything they can, federal assistance is necessary in ensuring that affected Virginians are able to get their homes back in working order and get back on their feet again.”

The federal program makes funding available for homeowners and renters through grants and low-interest loans, as well as disaster housing assistance.

Forty-eight localities have been approved for federal disaster public assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irene. That assistance covers government and some nonprofit costs for damage to roads, buildings and equipment, debris removal and emergency services.

Three deaths in the state were attributed to the Hurricane, which also caused widespread flooding, notably in the Huntington community in Fairfax County. Tropical Storm Lee followed days later and also devastated the community, prompting the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, at the behest of Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland, Mount Vernon Democrat, to ask county staff to look into a 2012 bond referendum that could include flood mitigation funding for the community.

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