Obama will not visit Louisa County
Governor Bob McDonnell‘s office reports that President Barack Obama has declined and invitation to visit Louisa County when his bus tour travels throught North Carolina and Virginia next week.
The White House has slowly released details about the president’s trip which will start in North Carolina on Monday before traveling to Emporia and Hampton on Tuesday. The destinations for the third day of the trip are expected to be released today and could include portions of Central Virginia.
Earlier this week, Governor McDonnell formally invited the president to include Louisa County as part of his itinerary. McDonnell’s request for individual assistance for victims of August’s earthquake was turned down by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). McDonnell is appealing and thought if the president was able to see the impact of the quake first hand, that it might implore him to encourage FEMA to reverse their decision.
In the last three months, Louisa residents have endured a once in a generation 5/8 magnitude earthquake, more than 40 measurable aftershocks, parts of Hurricane Irene and just yesterday the touchdown of a confirmed tornado.
McDonnell was informed of the president’s response to his invitation by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in a phone call Friday afternoon. The governor was said to be very disappointed in the president’s response.
Here is the itinerary for the president’s trip next week as we know it:
Monday, October 17th– stops in Asheville, NC area, the Millers Creek, NC area, and overnight in the Greensboro, NC area.
Tuesday, October 18th– stops in Jamestown, NC, Emporia, VA, and overnight in Hampton, VA.
Wednesday, October 19th- TBA
We will update you with more information when we get it. The full statement from the governor’s office can be found after the jump:
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate called Governor McDonnell at approximately 2pm this afternoon.
He informed the Governor that the President will not be visiting Louisa County during his upcoming visit to the Commonwealth
The Governor is extremely disappointed in this decision.
The President will be in Virginia next week, and this is a region of the Commonwealth that is in need of appropriate federal assistance in a very trying time. The impacts of the August earthquake on Louisa County were severe. The Governor believes the President would have gained a valuable perspective on the matter by personally witnessing the damage, and hearing directly from residents. Governor McDonnell continues to believe that federal assistance should be provided to Louisa County in order to help residents recover from the historic and damaging August earthquake. He will appeal FEMA’s prior decision to deny federal assistance. We will inform you when that appeal is formally filed.
On a related note, the Governor will be donating $5000 from his Opportunity Virginia PAC to the relief efforts underway in the county. He will donate $2500 to the Louisa Earthquake Recovery Fund which is designed to help homeowners with repairs to earthquake damaged houses, and $2500 to the Louisa County Public School Disaster Relief Fund. Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker and Deputy Secretary of Public Safety John Buckovich will present the Governor’s donations at tonight’s “Louisa Cares” benefit at Louisa County Middle School.
–J. Tucker Martin, Director of Communications, Office of Governor Bob McDonnell