Pres. Obama signs Virginia disaster declaration for Hampton Roads cities

A car in a yard along Cedar Lane, is partially submerged in floodwaters from the rain of Hurricane Matthew, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Kinston, N.C. (Zach Frailey/Daily Free Press via AP)
A car in a yard along Cedar Lane, is partially submerged in floodwaters from the rain of Hurricane Matthew, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Kinston, N.C. (Zach Frailey/Daily Free Press via AP)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) – President Obama signed a Virginia disaster declaration Wednesday, which will provide supplemental federal aid for several Hampton Roads cities impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

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The order will provide funding for the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, which incurred significant damage when the October 7 storm hit. The money will be used for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans and other programs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance starting November 3, 2016, by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

FEMA will establish a local disaster recovery center, where residents will be able to go in person to register for financial assistance, get answers to questions and find out what resources are available to them. Representatives from local, state, and federal agencies, along with private partners, will staff the center. The location and operating hours of the Disaster Recovery Center will be announced in the next few days.

Norfolk officials say city teams took state and federal representatives on a tour through the city to see more than 200 properties for a preliminary damage assessment. Overall, more than 400 damaged properties were reported 72 hours after the storm.

The City of Chesapeake is opening its own disaster recovery center on Thursday, November 3, to provide access to locally-based services. It will be located in the Chesapeake Department of Human Services, 100 Outlaw Street. When FEMA resources arrive, they will likely set up shop here. The center will be from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon on both Saturday, November 5, and Saturday, November 12.

At the center, Chesapeake residents can gain access to FEMA internet resources and referrals to select services. If you have questions, reach out to the Disaster Recovery Center at 382-CITY.