FEMA Approves Virginia's Appeal for Quake Aid

1,404 Louisa County homes damaged in August

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved Virginia's second request for assistance for those whose property was damaged in the August earthquake.

The agency informed Gov. Bob McDonnell on Friday that it had approved assistance for Louisa County homeowners who suffered damage in the 5.8-magnitude quake.

“The once-in-one hundred year earthquake that struck Virginia in August caused significant damage that was not covered by homeowners' insurance. Many homes and businesses have been extensively damaged,” McDonnell said. “This assistance is a key resource for families and business owners who have been trying to recover for more than two months.”

FEMA initially denied Virginia's request for assistance. McDonnell appealed last week, saying damage from the Aug. 23 tremor had grown to $22 million, far more than the initial $9 million estimate in the state's September request. Virginia's entire congressional delegation wrote a letter accompanying the appeal.

McDonnell said 1,404 Louisa homes were damaged -- 400 more than the earlier request -- with two destroyed and 80 sustaining major damage. Some damage that was first categorized as minor has become worse as a result of more than 40 aftershocks.

The aid will provided low-interest loans, grants, unemployment assistance, disaster housing assistance and crisis counseling.

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