President Authorizes Disaster Aid Following Va. Storms

October 19, 2004

The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that President Bush has authorized the use of federal disaster funds for Virginia to help families and businesses recover from the remnants of Hurricane Jeanne.

Michael Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the President took the action under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to private property from severe storms and flooding beginning on Sept. 27.

After the declaration, Brown designated the following jurisdictions eligible for federal aid to stricken residents and business owners: the independent cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the counties of Alleghany, Craig, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Patrick and Roanoke.

The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

In addition, Brown said federal funds will be provided for the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that damage surveys are continuing and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated later based on the results of the assessments.

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