FEMA approves funding for Louisa following quake

The Federal Emergency Management Administration has approved federal disaster assistance for individuals and business owners in Louisa County who experienced damage as a result of a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Virginia on Aug. 23 and caused more than 40 aftershocks.  Gov. Bob McDonnell had appealed FEMA’s initial decision to deny federal disaster aid to Louisa County. The appeal included a letter from Virginia’s entire congressional delegation supporting the request.

“I thank FEMA and President Obama for their decision to grant federal disaster assistance for the people of Louisa County.  I also want to thank Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Jim Webb, Congressman Eric Cantor and Virginia’s entire congressional delegation for their strong support of our appeal,” McDonnell said.

Since the original request was made Sept. 20, officials have found more extensive damage than what was originally reported in more than 1,400 homes.  Some damage that was first categorized as minor has become worse as a result of more than 40 aftershocks.

“Many of our fellow Virginians who call Louisa home are hurting, and this is critically needed aid during a very trying time. The once-in-one hundred year earthquake that struck Virginia in August caused significant damage that was not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Many homes and businesses have been extensively damaged.  This assistance is a key resource for families and business owners who have been trying to recover for more than two months,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell requested Individual Assistance and Hazard Mitigation funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The Individual Assistance program provides disaster housing assistance, low interest loans and grants.  The Hazard Mitigation program provides funds for projects sponsored by state and local governments that help reduce disaster risks by protecting homes and businesses against future damage.

“This is very welcome news for homeowners and business people in Louisa,” Warner said in a statement. “Approval of this federal assistance will provide access to low-interest loans and other aid that can help  individuals rebuild and recover from the damage caused by a rare, once-in-a-generation 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Officials in Louisa and Richmond, Gov. McDonnell, and Virginia’s entire U.S. House and Senate delegation worked together to help get this done, and Virginia’s persistent and unified approach produced results. This really is the best news I’ve heard in some time.”

augusta free press news
augusta free press news

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