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FEMA denies request for federal assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has denied a federal assistance request from the Commonwealth of Virginia for areas impacted by the Feb. 24 tornadoes.

Last week, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with three other congressmen, sent a letter to President Barack Obama supporting Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s request that the administration declare a major disaster in response to the tornadoes.

One person died in Appomattox County after a tornado struck the Evergreen community.

In a letter, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the damage from the tornadoes “was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the commonwealth, affected local governments and voluntary agencies.”

“The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) will reach out to emergency management partners in the affected counties to gather any additional information that further supports an appeal for individual assistance,” a VDEM release stated. “States have up to 30 days after receiving a denial letter to submit an appeal to FEMA.”