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Governor asks for FEMA earthquake assistance for Fredericksburg, Spotsy, KG

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced today he’s asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more earthquake assistance.

Previously, FEMA had approved individual assistance for those affected by the 5.8 magnitude August earthquake around its epicenter in Louisa County. Now McDonnell wants to extend it to nine other localities, including Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, King George, Culpeper and Orange counties. Individual assistance lets private property owners apply for federal grants, low-interest loans and other assistance.

He has also asked that Culpeper and Northampton counties be added to FEMA’s list for public assistance, to help repair public structures damaged by the quake. Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg have been approved for public assistance.

“We have been working with local governments since Louisa County was approved for FEMA assistance to identify significant earthquake damage in other jurisdictions,” McDonnell said in a news release. “Our damage assessment teams found more than 130 homes in other localities with major damages, including two homes that were destroyed by the quake.”

The deadline for renters, homeowners and business owners in Louisa County to register for state and federal disaster assistance has been extended to March 5.

According to McDonnell’s release, FEMA has approved more than $6.6 million for individuals in Louisa County affected by the earthquake. Money has also been approved to repair damages to Louisa County High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

Earthquake damages were estimated at more than $80 million in Louisa County alone. In September, Culpeper County estimated its  damage  at $10 million; Fredericksburg estimated more than $700,000 in damages, including about $64,000 of damage to city-owned buildings.