FEMA denies appeals for Virginia tornado assistance

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jun 29, 2011 - 03:41 PM

Virginia was notified last Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied all three appeals for federal assistance to help individuals recover from 34 tornadoes that struck the state in April.

The tornado on April 16 destroyed 10 structures in Gloucester and affected nearly 180 others, causing an estimated $8.3 million in damages. This does not include additional damages of $16 million done to Page Middle School as a result of the storm.

On May 19, Gov. Bob McDonnell appealed FEMA’s denial of three separate requests—for Pulaski County, for Halifax and Washington counties, and a request to consider April 8-28 as one period so that other localities including Gloucester and Middlesex counties could be added. 

"I am very disappointed that FEMA denied our appeals for disaster assistance to help Virginians recover from the April tornadoes," McDonnell said. "The denial of assistance will definitely have an impact on those struggling to recover. Despite this decision by the federal government, I know that Virginians will continue to work together to help their fellow citizens who are still in need almost two months after these storms have faded from the headlines." 

Sen. Mark R. Warner released the following statement last week after learning of FEMA’s denial of the appeal:

"I am extremely disappointed in FEMA’s denial of Virginia’s request for disaster assistance. It is hard to explain how Virginia families and businesses do not qualify for disaster aid when that designation was granted to similar communities in other states which saw what appears to be the same level of damage from this same storm system.