RICHMOND -- Virginia will feel the effects of Hurricane Irene for some time to come as people work to clean up debris and repair homes and businesses damaged by the storm.
On Monday morning, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1st D) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-3rd D) took an aerial tour of damage from Richmond to Va. Beach.
The group met privately with officials from several Hampton Roads localities before holding a briefing at Camp Pendleton in Va. Beach.
As a state, Virginia has to have more than $10 million in damage to qualify for FEMA assistance.
FEMA officials said they'd know by Friday how much it will cost to make repairs and, should the $10 million limit be reached, the government would cover 75% of costs as outlined in the major disaster declaration made by President Barack Obama. The Commonwealth would cover the difference, explained Michael Cline, director of Va. Dept. of Emergency Management.
Officials stress those who need help beyond flood insurance coverage can apply through FEMA and they stress you need to document all flood damage.
Hurricane Irene accounted for four deaths in Virginia, including 11-year-old Zaire Robinson of Newport News.
Power was still out to about two million people across Virginia and many city and county governments were closed or partially closed because of outages and damage.
Gov. McDonnell made a pitch for donations to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund, which was created in April after tornadoes ripped through parts of the state. The money will help Virginians in case the federal government can’t cover all the costs.