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For Immediate Release


Date Contact

February 7, 2003

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x 2379
cell: (804) 393-9429


— USDA acts on requests pending since October and December

RICHMOND In response to long-pending requests by Governor Mark R. Warner, Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman has declared 46 Virginia counties primary disaster areas due to severe drought conditions. The counties are Accomack, Albemarle, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Bath, Buchanan, Campbell*, Carroll, Charles City, Charlotte, Clarke, Chesterfield, Culpeper, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fauquier, Giles, Gloucester, Grayson, Greensville, Halifax, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Lee, Louisa*, Mathews, Northampton, Northumberland, Orange*, Patrick, Prince George, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Southampton, Tazewell, Wise, and Warren.

The disaster declarations make farmers in these counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans and possibly other forms of assistance provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through Congressional action. Governor Warner made the requests in letters written October 7, October 17, October 30, December 9, and December 20, 2002.

“I am pleased the Bush administration has finally taken action on these requests, giving farmers in these localities some assistance in the wake of our devastating drought,” said Governor Warner.

The primary drought declarations extend disaster designations to counties contiguous to the primary areas. Contiguous localities include the cities of Charlottesville, Colonial Heights, Covington, Emporia, Franklin, Galax, Hopewell, Norton, Petersburg, Richmond, Roanoke, Salem and Williamsburg and the counties of Clarke, Greensville, Frederick, Hanover, Lee, Page, Scott, Washington and York. All other contiguous counties and independent cities had already been designated for the same disaster.

In addition to these counties, the Governor obtained federal disaster declarations for 45 counties earlier this year. Starred (*) counties obtained disaster designations previously but reapplied and also appear on this list.


Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund