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McDonnell urges caution in snow storm, keeps NoVa offices closed

Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said that state offices in Northern Virginia will remain closed today as snow continues to fall in a region experiencing blizzard conditions.

"This is a very dangerous situation,'' McDonnell said on a conference call with reporters this afternoon. "We've had several storms but while the previous one had higher accumulations, the winds with this one are creating the opportunity a real risk to human life...We're urging extreme caution to all Virginians to stay inside. These wind chills are very dangerous and create significant risk for injury or worse with people being out for sustained periods of time."

McDonnell has declared a state of emergency. The state has about 2,100 piece of plowing equipment on the roads, most in Northern Virginia. About 521 members of the National Guard are assisting state officials with the storm, with larger numbers in Northern Vrginia.

"This is an exceptional chance for Virginians going through tough times to be a good neighbor, to help one another out,'' he said. "Hopefully they had maybe a little time to restock the food and battery supples Sunday, Monday if they were able to get out. But many people, particularly elderly, frail, sick, might need some extra assistance. We just urge Virginians across the state to help other people, to help them know what other resources are available."

About 8,200 houses remain without power. The Virginia State Police have responded to thousands of calls, including 709 crashes in the last 24 hours. There have been three weather-related deaths, including two on the roads.

McDonnell said he spoke this morning to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the possibility of receiving federal aid for storm costs. The state asked for $50 million for the December snow storm.

By Anita Kumar  |  February 10, 2010; 1:48 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Memo to Gov. Bob McDonnell: The Dept. of Homeland Security does not have Virginia as a line item in the budget. As you may not know, we are focusing our attention on keeping "America safe" from underwear bombers.

Please contact the local Tea Party Nation representative in your area to raise funds for this endeavor.

Thank you.

Posted by: hadelaide | February 11, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has been a regular presence with sensible advice and fact-filled updates every time I turn on the TV. DC Mayor Fenty is the same. But I have yet to happen across even one appearance by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. It would be nice to hear from him since I live in Virginia, not Maryland.

I don't think it's a partisan or ideological difference, and I'm hoping it's not a lack of leadership ability. My guess is that a brand-new governor without executive political experience just doesn't have the same instinct for what citizens need to hear from him as a more seasoned governor like O'Malley. Maybe McDonnell will emerge this weekend--better late than never.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | February 12, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

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