Energy & Environment

Virginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence

Virginia's congressional delegation on Monday called on President Trump to declare a federal emergency in the commonwealth ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, which is barreling toward the mid-Atlantic coast.

The lawmakers wrote to Trump after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency over the weekend and ordered those living along the state's coast to evacuate the area on Monday.

"A federal emergency declaration would ensure the full availability of federal resources to support the Commonwealth's efforts to guarantee public safety and rapid recovery from the direct and indirect effects of Hurricane Florence," the congressional lawmakers wrote.

Sens. Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) signed the letter, along with Reps. Rob Wittman (R), Scott Taylor (R), Bobby Scott (D), A. Donald McEachin (D), Tom Garrett (R), Bob Goodlatte (R), Dave Brat (R), Don Beyer (D), Morgan Griffith (R), Barbara Comstock (R) and Gerry Connolly (D).

Trump issued a series of tweets about the impending storm on Monday, including one that specifically mentioned Virginia. He noted that he and other members of his Cabinet have been briefed by officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hurricane Florence developed into a Category 4 storm on Monday, and has the potential to strengthen to a Category 5 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere on South Carolina or North Carolina by Thursday.

- Updated at 7:27 p.m.

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