First Anniversary of the Mineral Earthquake

August 22, 2012 4:59 pmBy: 

Gov. McDonnell and Rep. Eric Cantor tour a damaged school in Louisa

It was one year ago today that a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Virginia. It was one of the most destructive quakes in Virginia’s history and the largest on the east coast since 1944. Thousands of homes as well as businesses, schools and places of worship were damaged.

“For many, the earthquake was nothing more than a brief scare and something to wonder about afterwards. That was not the case, however, for a number of Virginians whose lives were significantly changed that day. Thousands of buildings were damaged and several were destroyed. … Donations and volunteers flooded to Louisa County, the epicenter of the earthquake, but the damage was not easily repaired, and rebuilding will continue for years to come,” said Governor Bob McDonnell.

On Sep. 20, 2011, after bringing in earthquake damage specialists from the west coast to help determine the extent of damage, Virginia requested federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The request was denied Oct. 7. McDonnell declared that the decision was unfair in light of the destruction to homes, other private property, and public buildings. Virginia continued to work with FEMA to identify additional damage and then appealed the decision Oct. 28. FEMA granted disaster assistance Nov. 4.

More than 6,400 homeowners and renters in nine counties and cities received nearly $16.5 million in recovery assistance from FEMA to help with their personal losses due to the earthquake. Governor McDonnell noted, “While precious family items filled with memories can never be replaced, rebuilding of homes is critical to recovery and the ability to heal from a disaster.”

Virginia state agencies and local governments received more than $31 million in FEMA assistance to help repair buildings and infrastructure. Louisa County schools received $28 million for repairs. Nearly all the county schools were damaged by the quake with two, Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Louisa County High School, having to close permanently. The earthquake caused a total of $61 million in damages to Louisa County schools.

“Emergency responders, school officials, state agencies and local leaders did tremendous work in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, and the work associated with recovery efforts continues today. A lot of rebuilding has taken place and much has been accomplished. The citizens have those officials and the many volunteers to thank for this progress,” said Governor McDonnell.

Volunteers in Louisa County assisted with finishing work after contractors made repairs to brick, mortar and foundations of homes. Corporate donors gave carbon monoxide detectors to protect Louisa County residents who depended on fireplaces and chimney for heat during the past winter. And the county established a Long Term Recovery Group to administer donations made to a local recovery fund.

Other volunteer efforts include establishing persons of contact for each affected locality to respond to survivors with unmet needs, an initiative of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. In addition, the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund was made available to assist those who suffered earthquake damage in localities that were not eligible for federal disaster assistance.

To continue aiding disaster victims, Governor McDonnell is asking Virginians to donate to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. Donations are needed because of the many natural disasters that impacted Virginia that resulted in multiple ongoing recovery efforts, many of which are not eligible for federal or state assistance.

“I ask that citizens and businesses continue to lend a helping hand to those in need by donating what you can to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund,” said Governor McDonnell. “It truly takes everyone working together to help our families and communities recover from disasters.”

The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund has assisted residents affected by the April 2011 tornadoes, the August 2011 earthquake, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. The fund may help pay for home repairs, rental assistance, transportation and the purchase of household items. It is a fund of “last resort” if other state, federal and private aid is not available to assist disaster victims. To donate, go to http://www.disasterfund.virginia.gov/

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Education Top Stories Congressmen challenge, inspire Mason grads

    Congressmen challenge, inspire Mason grads

    By Sudha Kamath and Jamie Rogers George Mason University Telling thousands of George Mason University graduates “I do hope you tell the world with great pride where you studied,” President Ángel Cabrera delivered opening remarks on Dec. 18 at the first of two ceremonies at the Patriot Center on George Mason’s Fairfax Campus. “You made it!” declared Cabrera. “How does it feel? You still need to behave for the next two hours,” he quipped before introducing Tom Davis, the rector […]

    Read more →
  • Military Police & Crime Top Stories Virginia, feds settle with Freedom Stores, accused of illegal debt collection practices

    Virginia, feds settle with Freedom Stores, accused of illegal debt collection practices

    Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the North Carolina took action today to protect military servicemembers from illegal debt collection practices. The CFPB alleges that Freedom Stores, Inc., Freedom Acceptance Corporation, and Military Credit Services LLC used illegal tactics to collect debts, including filing illegal lawsuits, debiting consumers’ accounts without authorization, and contacting servicemembers’ commanding officers. The CFPB and the states filed a consent order in federal court to require the three companies and […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories McAuliffe announces legislation to curb gun violence in Virginia

    McAuliffe announces legislation to curb gun violence in Virginia

    Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced a series of legislative proposals aimed at curbing gun violence in Virginia, calling them “common-sense violence prevention efforts.” The proposals include prohibiting the possession of firearms for persons subject to protective orders and those who have committed certain misdemeanor offenses, such as stalking, sexual battery, and domestic violence, as well as revoking concealed handgun permits for parents delinquent on child support payments and closing the gun show loophole. “As Governor, there is no greater responsibility […]

    Read more →
  • Chantilly Clifton Top Stories Transportation Stringfellow Road opens to four lanes Monday

    Stringfellow Road opens to four lanes Monday

    On Monday, Dec. 15, drivers will enjoy two lanes in each direction from Fair Lakes Boulevard to Route 50 on the newly widened two-mile section of Stringfellow Road, a milestone for the project that is six months ahead of schedule. On Friday, Dec. 12, crews will shift northbound traffic from the existing lane to the two newly constructed lanes. Drivers will continue to have one lane southbound while crews finish work to open both lanes by Monday afternoon. All turn […]

    Read more →
  • Alexandria Prince William Springfield Top Stories Transportation Woodbridge 95 Express Lanes about to open; are you ready?

    95 Express Lanes about to open; are you ready?

    It’s a good thing we have lots of smart people in the Washington area, because you have to be pretty good at mind-numbing details to navigate the toll and HOV features of our highways. Let’s see — there’s the Dulles Toll Road, which is free if you’re actually going to the airport but pricey if you’re not. Then there’s the Greenway to Loudoun, which is expensive for everybody and, like Dulles, makes no allowance for HOV, a/k/a car-pooling or ride-sharing. […]

    Read more →
  • County Government Politics Top Stories As tax deadline nears, Fairfax supervisors consider giving themselves raises

    As tax deadline nears, Fairfax supervisors consider giving themselves raises

    Fairfax County residents have just finished paying their 2014 car taxes, which can easily exceed $1,000 for a newer car, whether hybrid or gas guzzler, and now they are facing the Dec. 5 deadline for the second installment of their property taxes, which increase like clockwork each year. The county’s economy is tepid, with sequestration and military cutbacks beginning to bite. Most major highway expansion in the area consists of adding tolls to roads that were previously free. In other […]

    Read more →
  • Education Politics Top Stories Rep. Moran introduces bill to reform NCAA

    Rep. Moran introduces bill to reform NCAA

    A bill introduced by retiring Congressman Jim Moran would establish a blue ribbon commission to study the intercollegiate athletic system and offer recommendations for reform. “Recent scandals involving intercollegiate athletics programs at a number of the nation’s most prestigious institutions reveal the absence of policy and practice that would ensure a level of academic integrity, athlete welfare, and financial soundness appropriate for non-profit institutions of higher education,” said Moran, a former college athlete and ranking member of the Interior Appropriations […]

    Read more →
  • Education Langley Oakton Top Stories Langley, Oakton students featured in “Sleepless in America”

    Langley, Oakton students featured in “Sleepless in America”

    Students from Langley High School and Oakton High School, Superintendent Karen K. Garza, and Fairfax County School Board member Sandy Evans will be featured in “Sleepless in America,” a television show on sleep deprivation produced by the National Geographic Channel, premiering Sunday, November 30, at 8 p.m. The show focuses on the sleep-loss epidemic in the U.S. and explores the health consequences of sleeping too little.  Sleep researchers from the University of Chicago and Oregon Health and Science University are […]

    Read more →