Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and the Virginia Congressional delegation announced support of Governor Bob McDonnell's request to President Barack Obama for a federal emergency declaration in Virginia in advance of Hurricane Irene. Senator Webb and the delegation members sent a letter to President Obama on Friday supporting a federal emergency declaration request for the Commonwealth. Sens. Webb and Mark Warner, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Reps. Rob Wittman, Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott, J. Randy Forbes, Robert Hurt, Bob Goodlatte, Jim Moran, Morgan Griffith, Frank Wolf and Gerry Connolly signed on to the letter. The full text reads:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to express our support for Governor Robert F. McDonnell's request for a federal emergency declaration in advance of Hurricane Irene's potentially devastating effects in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As you may know, Governor McDonnell has declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Irene, which is expected to have a significant impact on the Commonwealth. There is a strong potential for devastating flooding from strong wind, heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding in the eastern part of the state depending on the storm's final track. Many localities have already ordered mandatory evacuations to prevent a potential loss of life.
The Governor's emergency declaration ensures a fully coordinated state response to support local recovery efforts. The Commonwealth has activated the Virginia Evacuation Coordination Team for Operational Response to assess the storm's impact and the Virginia Emergency Operations Center is already coordinating the state's response with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
A federal emergency declaration would ensure the full partnership and resources of the federal government to support the Commonwealth's efforts to ensure the public's safety and quick recovery from the direct and indirect effects of Hurricane Irene.
Thank you for your consideration of the Governor's request. We look forward to working with you to ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia has the resources necessary to ensure the safety of its citizens.