- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gov. Bob McDonnell will appeal denials by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of disaster assistance for Virginians affected by a series of strong tornadoes in April, his office said Tuesday.

The governor requested assistance for Pulaski County and for Halifax and Washington counties. He also made a request that the agency consider April 8-28 as one period so that other areas affected by the tornadoes, such as Gloucester and Middlesex counties, could be added to those eligible for federal aid. All three requests were denied by FEMA on May 7.

Mr. McDonnell said all three decisions will be appealed.

“Local and state governments and volunteers are doing all they can to help, but federal assistance would make a big difference in ensuring that hundreds of Virginians recover from this devastation,” he said in a statement. “I urge FEMA to reconsider this decision and to expedite my request.

The FEMA funds would make money available to homeowners and renters in the form of low-interest loans and grants, unemployment assistance, disaster housing assistance and crisis counseling.

During the severe weather events in April, at least 30 tornadoes hit Virginia, killing 10 people and injuring more than 100. About 212 homes were destroyed, and more than 1,050 homes and businesses were damaged.