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Posted at 3:57 PM ET, 02/16/2010

Virginia declared disaster area after snowstorms

By Washington Post editors

President Obama on Tuesday declared Virginia a disaster area and ordered federal aid to help the state in its recovery efforts from the Dec. 18-20 snowstorms.

The declaration allows both the commonwealth and eligible local governments, including Arlington, Fairfax and Manassas, among others to seek assistance.

By Washington Post editors  | February 16, 2010; 3:57 PM ET
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Gotta luv free money from other states coming in to help out huh tea party ppl?!
Say no to big government right?
Not in my cul de sac full of impassable snow!

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure you don't mean the more recent February snowstorms? I would think it's a bit late for disaster declarations from December. Unless this is not, in fact, a breaking news story.

Posted by: kp_nova | February 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Disaster area? Was that due to the election, or the snow?

Posted by: jckdoors | February 16, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Rocco00. So the great, conservative state of Virginia needs federal assistance, eh? I guess when you won't raise taxes, you gotta get the money from somewhere!

Posted by: ddessaso | February 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This is the first domino to fall. Bet even money that Md wants in too. The roads everywhere are laughable. Face it mid-Atlantic states don't normally get 40+ inches of snow; somebody needs to redo the budget for next year.....

Posted by: pruerj1 | February 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

18" of snow is a huge inconvenience. But a disaster? Please! Haiti is a disaster.

How coddled are we? What an embarrassment. Appalling.

Posted by: AlexandriaBiz | February 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

come on WashPost, I just can't believe this is breaking news?? Important but "breaking". This is like stores labeling everything "sale" when you know it isn't.

Posted by: Siditti | February 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you, the Tea Party movement is not in Northern Virginia where Arlington, Fairfax, and Manassas are. I think it is ridiculous that Obama would declare Virginia a disaster zone. It is gonna be in the 40s this week.

That being said, the Commonwealth could not have budgeted for the tri-fecta of storms that hit in a matter of 2 months leaving it paralyzed for weeks at a time. The Federal Government was shut down for a weeks, not to mention other businesses, which would be providing the revenue that a state would need to pay for services to clear the roads.

Just some thoughts before we jump into partisanship bs.

Posted by: AndrewBDC | February 16, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Let's not get it twisted! "The Stafford Act (ยง401) requires that: 'All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State.'" I guess the newly elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia made his first request for federal funds; it sure doesn't sound like President Obama went shopping!

Posted by: thbrownlawyer | February 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

What about Maryland Mr. Obongo, or was it caca what we got on our streets and roofs, and yes Haiti is a disaster, but is none of our business.

Posted by: eportillo655 | February 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Trust me no state is prepared for the amount of snow we received so far [!] this winter. Point in fact: Baltimore has received significantly more snow than any other city in the country so far this winter.

However, unlike DC, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, Virginia is a Southern state, doensn't have as many resources when it comes to snow removal, and is particularly ill-prepared to deal with the mess. While VDOT does nearly all snow removal in the state, Maryland's individual counties do their own snow removal in addition to the State Highway Administration.

This makes sense since significant snow falls pretty much everywhere in Maryland, except the Eastern Shore. Since the Dec. storm EVERY square inch of Maryland and Delaware received well over a foot of snow. In VA only Northern Virginia and areas west approching the WV border saw heavy snow, and the rest of the state rarely sees snow or very little of it.

Posted by: CharlieIndiaAlpha | February 16, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

One of the fundamental responsibilities of government is public safety. The VA request for relief funds was a prudent decision. This is not a BIG Government vs. SMALL Government issue. This event shut the federal government down for four and a half days. The entire Mid-Atlantic region continues to suffer from the aftermath of these storms. As of last evening, the commute from the District to Northern VA took 2 1/2 hours, the District being the absolute worst part of it.

Posted by: frmjrz | February 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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