Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Governor
NUMBER EIGHTY-ONE (2021)
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER
Importance of the Issue
On this date, August 31, 2021, I declare that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia to prepare and coordinate our response to severe weather storms. The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has monitored severe weather and rain events that started moving through the western portion of the Commonwealth on August 30, 2021, to include Tropical Storm Ida, which will cover large portions of the entire state beginning today, August 31, 2021. The rainfall experienced so far, in conjunction with the amount forecast in coming days, presents significant resource and operational challenges.
The impacts of these weather systems have already caused flash flooding, downed trees, electrical outages, and significant impacts to roads and bridges. Given the storm’s current forecast, the Commonwealth will assist localities, especially those with vulnerable populations, to provide support in response to a large-scale weather event during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-positioning response assets and supplies and activating the Virginia Emergency Support Team will be necessary to assist our localities.
The anticipated effects of this situation constitute a disaster as described in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia (Code). Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, by §§ 44-146.17 and 44-75.1 of the Code, as Governor and Director of Emergency Management and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth’s armed forces, I proclaim a state of emergency. Accordingly, I direct state and local governments to render appropriate assistance to prepare for this event, to alleviate any conditions resulting from the situation, and to implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities so as to return impacted areas to pre-event conditions as much as possible. Emergency services shall be conducted in accordance with § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code.
In order to marshal all public resources and appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery measures, I order the following actions:
- Implementation by state agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, as amended, along with other appropriate state plans.
- Activation of the Virginia Emergency Operations Center and the Virginia Emergency Support Team, as directed by the State Coordinator of Emergency Management, to coordinate the provision of assistance to state, local, and tribal governments and to facilitate emergency services assignments to other agencies.
- Authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, on behalf of their regulatory boards as appropriate, and with the concurrence of their Cabinet Secretary, to waive any state requirement or regulation, and enter into contracts without regard to normal procedures or formalities, and without regard to application or permit fees or royalties. All waivers issued by agencies shall be posted on their websites.
- Activation of § 59.1-525 et seq. of the Code related to price gouging.
- Authorization of a maximum of $1,000,000 in state sum sufficient funds for state and local government mission assignments and state response and recovery operations authorized and coordinated through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management allowable by The Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq. Included in this authorization is $300,000 for the Department of Military Affairs.
- Activation of the Virginia National Guard to State Active Duty.
Effective Date of this Executive Order
This Executive Order shall be effective August 30, 2021 and shall remain in full force and in effect until September 28, 2021 unless sooner amended or rescinded by further executive order. Termination of this Executive Order is not intended to terminate any federal type benefits granted or to be granted due to injury or death as a result of service under this Executive Order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 31st day of August, 2021.
Ralph S. Northam
Secretary of the Commonwealth