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Louisa gives thanks for aid

By PORTSIA SMITH

Despite having homes, businesses and schools damaged in a an earthquake three months ago, Louisa County has something to be thankful for this holiday, schools Superintendent Deborah Pettit said Wednesday.

Pettit held a news conference to express gratitude for the support the school division has received from the community, state and nation since the Aug. 23 earthquake.

“During our recovery from this natural disaster, we have realized that we are strong and resilient,” Pettit said. “However, we move forward as the result of the generosity of many.”

Wednesday marked the three-month anniversary of the 5.8-magnitude temblor that quake caused more than $80 million in damage to homes, businesses and schools. Two schools were left unusable as a result.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Gov. Bob McDonnell’s requests to provide disaster relief funds for both private homeowners and public facilities. More than $3 million had been distributed to homeowners as of last week.

The Public Assistance funds will help offset the costs of repairing Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Louisa County High schools and other public facilities. Pettit said modular schools are being established to house the 2,000 students who were displaced due to structural damage at those two schools.

Fundraisers and foundation donations have brought in thousands of dollars and community residents have donated hours of time to help get the schools back on track.

“You have provided us meals, school supplies, furniture, money, letters, prayers, and emails of encouragement,” Pettit said in thanking those who have helped. “But most of all you have taken the time to care about us.”

Pettit said students have written many letters of thanks and have completed artwork that will be displayed in public locations around the county.

“We are recovering, we are rebuilding and we are better than ever because we have survived an earthquake and have been the recipients of your generosity,” she said. “Thank you.”

 

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

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