Governor Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency in Virginia, directing state agencies to take all necessary actions to aid in the response to widespread damage from yesterday’s violent weather in the southeastern part of the state.
Strong winds and possible tornadoes caused damage in multiple localities. The cities of Colonial Heights and Suffolk were two areas that were severely affected.
Initial reports indicated as many as 200 people might have been injured.
A declaration of emergency allows the governor to immediately deploy state personnel, equipment and other emergency response resources, and to coordinate state and local response to the event.
Agencies assisting include the Virginia departments of Emergency Management, Marine Resources and Transportation and the Virginia State Police. Other agencies are on standby if needed.
Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association (AIA), assured the residents of southeastern Virginia who were battered by three tornadoes yesterday that the insurance industry would be focused on a quick and targeted response in helping them recover.
“The insurance industry is on the scene and we are focused on helping the residents of southeastern Virginia get back on their feet,” said Racicot. “We need to do our part as quickly as possible to help the policy holders who have suffered a significant loss begin the recovery process. The prompt dispatch of resources from insurers is something we are fully committed to.”
Already, insurers have announced that the claims process has begun and that special mobile claims buses have been deployed directly to affected communities.
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