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Governor signs emergency order to help states hit by Hurricane Matthew

A US flag blows in the wind in Atlantic Beach, Florida, on October 7, 2016, as hurricane Matthew approaches the area. Hurricane Matthew unleashed torrential rains and up to 120 mile-an-hour winds as it hugged the Florida coast Friday, after a blast through the Caribbean that reportedly left at least 400 dead in Haiti. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va.  – Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia, to give state agencies and private entities the authorities and resources they need to support relief efforts in states affected by Hurricane Matthew.

While Hurricane Matthew’s impact on Virginia is expected to be limited to some rain and localized flooding, current reports indicate severe damage and property loss across the east coast of Florida and the possibility of significant threats to other southern states.

“While current forecasts indicate that Virginia will be spared of the worst impacts of Hurricane Matthew, I want to emphasize the importance to Virginians of preparing for the possibility of some hurricane-related rains and minor flooding, primarily in coastal areas,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Even if this storm misses Virginia, we have a responsibility to our sister states to facilitate efforts to respond to this disaster and keep families safe. This order will help get crews, equipment and relief supplies into the states most-impacted by Matthew, and we stand ready to provide additional resources as necessary.

“Finally, I want to thank the members of our Commonwealth’s two urban search and rescue teams, Virginia Task Force One and Virginia Task Force Two, who were dispatched to Florida last night at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These men and women are among the world’s most elite emergency response teams, and Dorothy and I will continue to pray for their safety along with all of the families and communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew.”

The Governor’s Executive Order 60 authorizes the Virginia State Police (VSP), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to grant temporary overweight, overwidth, registration or license exemptions to all carriers traveling through the Commonwealth to transport essential emergency relief supplies or provide restoration of utilities in areas impacted by the hurricane, regardless of the carriers’ point of origin or destination.

The text of the Governor’s executive order declaring a state of emergency is below. For more information on the upcoming weather and preparations Virginians can make now, please visit www.vaemergency.gov.