- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

RICHMOND (AP) — Tropical Storm Ernesto left nearly $90 million in damage in its wake, primarily in one urban neighborhood and in rural Chesapeake Bay communities, according to estimates tallied yesterday.

Richmond accounted for much of the state’s damage estimate, with $39 million in cleanup and public repair costs, based on estimates provided by the state Department of Emergency Management. Damage to businesses and residences totaled $9 million.

Along the Chesapeake Bay, hundreds of homes were left with major damage. The storm left Virginia waterlogged, with up to 1 foot of rain. Six deaths were attributed to Ernesto in Virginia.

The hardest-hit area was Northumberland County, which reported damage to private residences and businesses up to $17.8 million.

The Northern Neck county, bordered by the Potomac River and the Bay, was slammed by storm surge combined with high tide, said Bob Spieldenner, spokesman for emergency management. The tiny village of Lewisetta, which is on the Potomac, had to be evacuated and suffered extensive damage, he said.

In Richmond, officials worked to provide temporary housing for residents of about 110 homes in the Battery Park neighborhood, which was flooded after a city sewer line collapsed last Thursday. Ernesto’s rain compounded the problem, forcing hundreds from their homes.

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