Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday that he will appeal the May 7 denials by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of disaster assistance for Virginians affected by a series of tornados in April.
McDonnell made three separate requests for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program: for Pulaski County; for Halifax and Washington counties; and a request to consider April 8-28 as one period so that other localities such as Gloucester and Middlesex counties could be added, according to his spokesperson Jeff Caldwell. All three requests were denied and are now in the process of being 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," McDonnell said. "I urge FEMA to reconsider this decision and to expedite my request."
According to Caldwell, the Individual Assistance Program would make funding available to homeowners and renters in the form of low-interest loans and grants, unemployment assistance, disaster housing assistance, and crisis counseling.
Last week, the governor established a tornado relief fund for people who wish to send donations to the victims. Donations can be made by checks payable to Treasurer of Virginia with "tornado relief" noted in the memo line. Send checks to Comptroller’s Office, P.O. Box 1971, Richmond, Va. 23218-1971. Donations are tax deductible.
During three severe weather events in April, at least 30 tornados hit Virginia, killing 10 people and injuring more than 100. Approximately 212 homes were destroyed, and more than 1,050 homes and businesses were damaged.