For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2016
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Public Safety Officials Assess Areas Impacted by Hurricane Matthew
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, Virginia State Emergency Coordinator Jeff Stern and other Commonwealth public safety officials traveled to Hampton Roads today to receive a briefing on response efforts and assess the impacts of Hurricane Matthew in the region. They were joined by MaryAnn Tierney, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III Director, and leaders and officials from several localities in the region that were impacted by the storm.
“I want to thank the men and women who continue to work tirelessly to keep Virginians safe and help communities recover from the significant damage that Hurricane Matthew brought to our Commonwealth, particularly in the Hampton Roads region,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I have directed my public safety team to stay in constant contact with officials in this region and to make every resource available to assist with recovery efforts.”
As Virginia moves to the recovery phase of its response to the impacts of Hurricane Matthew, the Commonwealth, localities, and non-profit organizations are actively working to assess the damage done by Hurricane Matthew and provide assistance to those affected by the storm. Recovery is a cooperative process involving state and local government agencies, voluntary agencies, and communities recovering together.
Throughout Hampton Roads, cleanup efforts are underway, schools have reopened, and power has been restored to most homes. Local governments are also providing assistance and information to impacted individuals with unmet needs and completing initial damage assessments. This damage assessment information will be used by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to determine eligibility for federal assistance.
Multiple state agencies are supporting local and regional recovery efforts in Hampton Roads. VDEM is coordinating damage assessments, providing recovery information to citizens, and supporting debris removal.
The Virginia Department of Transportation continues to support local and state agencies with any needed repairs resulting from the severe weather and is working closely with VDEM on damage assessments of state roads and property.
The Department of Environmental Quality is working with localities to evaluate and respond to water contamination issues; support water removal in areas that remain flooded; address hazardous material incidents; and support debris management sites.
The Virginia Department of Health is continuing to track storm-related fatalities; assessing damage to VDH facilities; monitoring the status and impacts of power outages to healthcare facilities; monitoring shellfish area closures related to the hurricane; and investigating public health aftermath impacts such as mold, drinking water, and food safety.
Multiple voluntary agencies are already out in the communities providing aid to individuals and household. The organizations currently providing or offering assistance in Hampton Roads are:
- Crisis Cleanup – Providing assistance with cleanup;
- Operation Blessing – Conducting muck out operations;
- Southeast Virginia Food Bank – Providing replacement food;
- Southern Baptists – Conducting debris removal;
- General Baptists Association – Conducting debris removal and muck out operations;
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Muck out, debris removal;
- United Methodist Church – Conducting muck out operations;
- Team Rubicon – Assisting with damage assessments, volunteer coordination, and debris removal.
If you are in need of assistance, dial 2-1-1 for referral. To see more of Virginia’s recovery efforts, find VDEM on Twitter @VDEM or on Facebook here, #RecoverTogether.