Virginia lawmakers are urging President Obama to declare a federal emergency in the state in advance of Hurricane Irene.

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert Warner2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft State probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Hillicon Valley: Trump fires Bolton as national security adviser | DOJ indicts hundreds over wire-transfer scam | CEOs push for federal privacy law | Lyft unveils new safety features after sexual assault allegations MORE (D) and Jim Webb (D), as well as Reps. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorEmbattled Juul seeks allies in Washington GOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington MORE (R), Rob WittmanRobert (Rob) Joseph WittmanVirginia Port: Gateway to the economic growth Republican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland MORE (R), Scott RigellEdward (Scott) Scott RigellGOP rushes to embrace Trump GOP lawmaker appears in Gary Johnson ad Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far MORE (R), Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Critics fear widespread damage from Trump 'public charge' rule Democrats: Trump plan could jeopardize 500,000 children's free school meals MORE (D), Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesToo much ‘can do,’ not enough candor Trump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary MORE (R), Robert HurtRobert HurtThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — GOP faces ‘green wave’ in final stretch to the midterms Democrat defeats controversial chair of House Wall Street subpanel Republican groups launch final ad blitz in key House battlegrounds MORE (R), Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview MORE (R), Jim MoranJames (Jim) Patrick MoranStar-studded cast to perform play based on Mueller report DC theatre to host 11-hour reading of the Mueller report Bottom line MORE (D), Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithThe 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran Overnight Energy: Senate Dems introduce Green New Deal alternative | Six Republicans named to House climate panel | Wheeler confirmed to lead EPA Six Republicans named to House climate panel MORE (R), Frank WolfFrank Rudolph WolfDOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling Vulnerable Republican keeps focus as Democrats highlight Trump Bolton could be the first national security chief to prioritize religious freedom MORE (R) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHistory in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (D), on Friday sent a letter to Obama to ensure resources be made available in case of a disaster.

“There is every indication that Irene will be an extremely dangerous storm, and we are taking this very seriously,” Rigell, who represents Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Eastern Shore and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton, said in a news release.


“A federal emergency declaration would ensure the full partnership and resources of the federal government to help provide for the public’s safety and for quick recovery from the direct and indirect effects of Hurricane Irene,” he added. “Our state and local partners and our citizens are doing their parts to prepare for this event and everyone in the federal government needs to do the same.”

The lawmakers support Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) request for a federal emergency declaration, following Thursday’s declaration of a state of emergency in the area.

“There is a strong potential for devastating flooding from strong wind, heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding in the eastern part of the state, depending on the storm’s final track,” the legislators said in the letter. “Many localities have already ordered mandatory evacuations to prevent a potential loss of life.”

The state has already activated the Virginia Evacuation Coordination Team for Operational Response to assess the storm’s impact, and the Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating a response with the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, according to the letter.

But “a federal emergency declaration would ensure the full partnership and resources of the federal government to support the Commonwealth’s efforts to ensure the public’s safety and quick recovery from the direct and indirect effects of Hurricane Irene,” the lawmakers wrote.

Virginia is one of just six states declaring emergencies in anticipation of this weekend’s storm. The hurricane has already reached recorded wind speeds of 115 mph, and residents along the Eastern Seaboard have been advised to collect supplies and seek safe shelter prior to the storm’s arrival.