Fairfax Declares Flooding Emergency to Seek Recovery Funds

At its July 16 meeting, the county’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency for Fairfax County as a result of the July 8 torrential rainstorm that caused substantial damage to both public and private property.

The heavy rains caused several county closures, numerous road closures, damage to homes, businesses, roads and dams as well as multiple rescues from our fire and rescue personnel of motorists stranded in flooded roadways.

As a result, the Board declared a local emergency, retroactive to July 8, that officially activates the county’s emergency operations plan and authorizes the furnishing of aid and assistance under the plan to mitigate the results of the severe weather.

This local aid includes the waiving of fees associated with residential and commercial building permits, including trades, needed for the repair of storm damage for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of the declaration. This waiver and declaration, however, does not remove the requirement for adherence to all federal, state and local building codes.

The declaration of a local emergency is necessary for the county to seek funds for recovery, clean-up and evaluation should such funds become available.

The declaration notes that this severe weather event “created an emergency of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action to prevent or alleviate the damage, loss, hardship or suffering threated” pursuant to Virginia Code.

Submit Your Damage Reports

The county’s Office of Emergency Management is currently collecting information from Fairfax County residents and businesses on damage and losses suffered during the rain event.

It is critically important that you submit any storm-related damage to Fairfax County.

The information you provide will be part of the county’s preliminary damage assessment, which is used to help determine if the county is eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Individuals and businesses are asked to report any storm damage to the county’s Disaster Damage Database.

“By submitting information you are helping the county focus on what areas of the county had the most damage to provide to the federal assessors.”

Seamus Mooney
Fairfax County Emergency Management Coordinator

While the database is completely voluntary, the damage reports received may impact what kind of federal disaster assistance — if any — that can be made available to county residents who suffered losses.

Your submission of damage information may benefit you and other county residents by supporting a disaster declaration, which is a prerequisite to eligibility for federal disaster assistance. However, submission of a Disaster Damage Report is not a requirement to apply for federal disaster assistance, nor is it a promise that federal disaster assistance will be provided.

Learn more about the Disaster Damage Database and submit your damage form online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/disasterreport/dr_submit.aspx.

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About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.