RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency in response to Friday night's severe weather. According to the governor's office, this action authorizes state agencies to assist local governments in responding to the storm’s impact and the forecast of more extreme temperatures.
“The widespread power outage caused by last night’s storms, combined with ... triple-digit high temperatures [forecast] for the next several days, have created a dangerous situation for many Virginians," McDonnell said in his statement announcing the declaration. Older Virginians, infants and those who have medical conditions are especially at risk for heat related injuries. Please check on your neighbors, friends and family members and make sure they have a cool place to stay. It will take several days to restore all power so Virginians should plan accordingly. This is not a one day situation; it is a multiday challenge.”
McDonnell went on to say that Friday night’s thunderstorms caused the broadest nonhurricane related power outage in Virginia history. In addition, he said, today’s forecast calls for the possibility of additional thunderstorms this evening and tonight, with the potential for the storms to become severe. McDonnell called for all Virginians to help one another as power outages could last for a number of days.
The governor asks that neighbors to check in on one another and offer assistance to those without power, and that those with power, or on a mobile device, check http://virginiaderecho.tumblr.com/ periodically for a rolling list of all known local cooling stations toshare that information with friends, family and neighbors
Under state law, the governor declares a state of emergency so that state resources can be made available. This emergency declaration ensures a fully coordinated state response to support local response and recovery efforts. A declaration also expedites timely deployment of personnel, equipment and supplies to impacted areas.
Among the steps taken by the state: the Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the state’s response with increased staffing; Virginia Department of Transportation crews are working to clear debris and ensure roads are safe for travel; and the governor has authorized up to 300 National Guard members to assist with recovery.