Disaster declaration means federal help on Florence spending

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials say President Donald Trump has approved the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration that will help pay for costs incurred during Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced the decision in a press release Monday. The approval means Federal Emergency Management Agency funds will provide reimbursement for 75 percent of local and state costs incurred.

Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne told a committee of lawmakers Monday the state has spent about $43.4 million on Florence and its share after the expected FEMA aid will be about $10.8 million.

Most of that spending, about $32 million, went to setting up emergency shelters, which local news outlets have reported just over 50 people used.

Virginia escaped the worst of Florence’s wrath after the storm took a southward turn.

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