GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- Mecklenburg and Rappahannock counties have been added to the list of Commonwealth jurisdictions declared eligible for public assistance based on damage assessments compiled by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspection teams.
The latest declaration increases public assistance eligibility to 15 political entities. They now are the independent City of Alexandria and the counties of Alleghany, Arlington, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Dickenson, Fairfax, Floyd, Henry, Highland, King George, Mecklenburg, Rappahannock and Rockbridge.
The Presidential declaration means that the city and counties, and certain private non-profit organizations can recoup substantial costs incurred after the June and July storms. Categories of eligible work that may be funded by FEMA are debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and parks and recreational facilities.
State Coordinating Officer, Michael Cline, said “without this aid from the federal government, the state and local communities would be hard-pressed to fund the restoration of infrastructure so crucial to the economy.” He congratulated VDEM and FEMA field workers for their thoroughness in finding and identifying necessary and eligible infrastructure project.
Gracia Szczech, federal coordinating officer, said “we are now looking at close to $10 Million in total Public Assistance money for approved projects in the declared counties. This sum may increase as project worksheets are submitted by the governmental entities.”
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities; works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.