By Kathryn Watson – Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
ALEXANDRIA — The price of the surprise “derecho” storm that killed 13 and cut power to 1.2 million in the commonwealth rings up at $30 million so far. And that doesn’t include home damage.
The $30-million figure is just what 101 Virginia counties, cities and towns have asked the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to reimburse for things like removing tree from roadways and maintaining cooling shelters in the wake of the June 29 storm.
If the Federal Emergency Management Agency agrees with Virginia’s damage assessment and Gov. Bob McDonnell files for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance, the state could be reimbursed for its expenses, said Bob Spieldenner, VDEM public affairs director.
Homeowners aren’t so lucky. FEMA requires far more damage to private property before the federal government will help pay recovery costs. But Spieldenner couldn’t provide a figure. He did say, however, that the statewide figure would have to be far more than the $11-million threshold before FEMA kicks in to cover damage to public property.
“It’s just much more difficult to get that kind of assistance from FEMA,” Spieldenner said.