- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday that, while there was still clean-up to do, the worst of Hurricane Sandy had passed through the state and the commonwealth was “very blessed” that the damage was not as extensive as in places like New Jersey and New York.Virginia ‘very b

“We are in the recovery period now in Virginia,” Mr. McDonnell said at a Tuesday news conference.

He confirmed there were two storm-related fatalities in central Virginia.

At the peak, more than 200,000 customers were without power across the state, many of them in Northern Virginia. As of Tuesday afternoon, Dominion reported fewer than 80,000 outages, though nearly 75,000 outages remained in Northern Virginia.

Mr. McDonnell said the power companies anticipate that power will be “virtually fully restored by Thursday night.” He also extended end-of-month deadlines for renewing licenses and permits, including drivers’ licenses, to Nov. 9.

Mr. McDonnell said he was authorizing local registrars to stay open for up to an additional eight hours to accommodate would-be absentee voters who did not get a chance to vote Monday or Tuesday.

He participated in a conference call Tuesday with President Obama, who granted his request for an expedited federal emergency declaration for the state, which allows the federal government to assist with storm-related clean-up.

“When you have natural disasters, partisanship goes out the window,” Mr. McDonnell said. “Nobody’s concerned about politics when it comes to the weather.”

He said that he’s also reached out to harder-hit states like New York and New Jersey and that “we’ll be providing whatever they need in terms of material and personnel and equipment.”