Virginia seeks disaster declaration after extreme rainfall

Flooding in southern Virginia Beach

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s governor is asking for federal assistance to help Buchanan County recover from extreme rainfall that destroyed homes and caused an estimated $13.8 million in damage to public infrastructure in August, Virginia officials said Friday.

Gov. Ralph Northam requested Thursday that President Joe Biden approve federal assistance through a major disaster declaration to help the county and residents recover after a storm dumped 8 to 10 inches of rain in the Hurley area, causing flash flooding and landslides, according to a news release.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinated joint preliminary damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration and found $13.8 million in damage to public infrastructure, including road washouts, water line damages, and debris removal. The assessments also showed 31 homes were destroyed, 27 sustained major damage, and eight had minor damage from this extreme rainfall event, officials said.

“When I visited Hurley, I saw firsthand how these areas are suffering and need our help,” Northam said in a statement. “I promised Hurley residents that I would do everything I could to help them, and I intend to keep that promise.”

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