17 additional localities eligible for public assistance for Hurricane Florence damages
Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that 17 additional localities have been made eligible to receive federal public assistance funding to reimburse for response costs and damages related to Hurricane Florence, which struck the Commonwealth in September.
In total, 32 localities are now eligible for Hurricane Florence public assistance, which will provide reimbursement for up to 75 percent of local and state costs incurred as the Commonwealth prepared for and responded to the storm.
“Virginia continues working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure federal funding to help our communities recover from the impacts of this historic hurricane,” said Governor Northam. “The addition of these 17 localities will greatly improve the economic situation for jurisdictions impacted by flooding, tornadoes, and wind damage from Hurricane Florence.”
The 17 additional localities include:
- Isle of Wight
The following 15 localities were already eligible for Florence public assistance funds:
- Charles City
- King and Queen
- King William
- Newport News
Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair and replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Florence. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all areas statewide. Private property owners must apply through their local government for potential hazard mitigation projects.
This funding may include:
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance, including direct federal assistance, is available to the Commonwealth, tribal and local governments, as well as certain private non-profit organizations on a cost-sharing basis.
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.
- Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by the Commonwealth, tribal, and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural disasters.
Virginia did not qualify for Individual Assistance for Hurricane Florence.
How Federal Disaster Funds Are Awarded
After initial response efforts, communities must determine the amount of damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure. Localities must submit an initial damage assessment to the Virginia Emergency Operations Center, usually within 72 hours. If the damage appears significant, then a team of state and federal personnel may perform an additional assessment.
If the damages appear to meet federal criteria, the Governor may request a presidential declaration. Only the President has the authority to approve the request, and an approval is not automatic. Many disasters in Virginia have not received a federal declaration.
A federal declaration must include the locality’s name in order to receive aid. There are two main types of federal assistance for individuals and households. A locality may also be eligible for the public assistance program, which reimburses local and state governments and certain private nonprofits for the expenses involved in response and recovery efforts.
Once awarded by FEMA and the President, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinates local government projects and administers the funding on behalf of FEMA. For more information, visit http://www.vaemergency.gov/prepare-recover/.