RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) - Gov. Bob McDonnell held his last scheduled live news conference on Hurricane Sandy Tuesday afternoon, during which he outlines Virginia's recovery from the storm.
The following is a statement released from McDonnell's office the same day:
During an afternoon press conference in Richmond, Governor Bob McDonnell updated Virginia’s continued recovery from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. The large storm began affecting portions of the Commonwealth late Saturday, and snow and rain associated with the system continue in parts of the state. During the storm, winds gusted to 60mph in both Roanoke and Arlington and to 68 mph at Wallops Island, nearly 10 inches of rain was recorded in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach and on the Northern Neck, and 8.5 inches of snow fell in Tazewell, with reports of higher amounts in many elevated areas of western and southwestern Virginia. In addition, high water led to the National Guard transporting citizens to shelters on the Eastern Shore. Sadly, the storm was responsible for two fatalities in Central Virginia.
Despite those figures, Sandy’s impact in the Commonwealth was far less than originally anticipated. As of 1pm today, power outages are down to 114,000 customers statewide, which is a much smaller number than expected. Most regions of the Commonwealth, outside of mountain areas experiencing lingering snow, will see weather conditions quickly returning to normal over the days ahead. Based on current conditions and what is anticipated for the aftermath of the storm, the Commonwealth is in a position to offer assistance to states that suffered far more damage. Today, Governor McDonnell spoke with President Obama to offer Virginia resources to ongoing recovery efforts in New Jersey, New York and other states. He has also personally communicated that offer to Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey and Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York. In addition, offers of assistance have been made to Connecticut and Delaware.
Speaking about the now-ending storm in the Commonwealth, Governor McDonnell remarked, “I sincerely appreciate the cooperation we have seen from Virginians in every part of the state as we have gone through this severe weather event. Sandy was not as bad as we expected, but we still faced high winds, heavy rain and snow, and flooding. Virginians worked together to get through this storm, and looked out for one another. I thank our citizens for their efforts and their incredible generosity of spirit. I also want to, once again, thank our first responders, state agencies, local governments, private partners and volunteers for the tremendous work they have done. There is still clean up to be done and we need to get power restored to the over 110,000 customers without it. We will get that done. Virginia stands ready to help other states as they recover from a far more serious and destructive storm within their borders.”
Federal Disaster Declaration
Governor McDonnell requested and Virginia has been awarded a federal disaster declaration to support emergency response efforts. Specifically, FEMA is authorized to deploy federal resources if needed by local and state officials. Virginia may request federal Public Assistance after damage assessments are compiled. It is too early to know if Virginia would qualify for federal Individual Assistance.
Two storm-related traffic fatalities have been confirmed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The deaths occurred in the central region of the state. No other storm-related deaths have been reported.
At 1 p.m., reported power outages were at 114,000 statewide. Virginia Dominion Power expects all power to be restored by Thursday night.
Extensions for State Permits, Fees and Licenses
Governor McDonnell signed Executive Order No. 53: Declaration of a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia Due to the Threat of Hurricane Sandy Impacting Virginia. Included in the Executive Order is a request that the Department of Motor Vehicles and other executive branch agencies, as deemed appropriate in their discretion, waive any late fees associated with October registrations, licenses, permits, or credential renewals that are submitted on or before November 9, 2012. You can download the entire Executive order here.
Current Travel Conditions
More than 280 roads, mostly secondary roads, are closed due to flooding and downed trees in northern Virginia, northern Shenandoah Valley, and the Eastern Shore.
Interstate routes in southwestern Virginia have scattered snow and ice patches. Many primary and secondary roads in southwest Virginia are snow covered or have snow and ice patches.
In northern Virginia, about 100 signals are not functioning. Drivers should treat these intersections as four-way stops. HOV restrictions have been lifted on interstates 66, 95, 395 and the Dulles Toll Road.
In Hampton Roads, all tunnels, water crossings, interstate highways and primary