State of emergency declared for Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Virginia is under a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm that is expected to impact the Commonwealth on Sunday.

Governor Ralph Northam declared the emergency Saturday morning, with an effective date of Dec. 7.

“Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts,” he said. “I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure localities and communities have appropriate assistance and to coordinate state response to possible snow and ice accumulations, transportation issues, and potential power outages.”

Under a state of emergency allows state officials to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia National Guard and other state agencies are already getting ready for the storm.

Northam also authorized up to $500,000 in state sum sufficient funds for state and local government's mission assignments coordinated through the VDEM. The funding is also available for state response and recovery operations.

However, that funding through the Stafford Act requires presidential authorization for the matching fund to be paid from state funds.

The executive order declaring the state of emergency will be in effect until Jan. 6 unless it is amended or rescinded by another executive order.

As of 11 p.m. Saturday, the counties of Albemarle, Nelson, and Buckingham are under a winter storm warning, while Louisa and Fluvanna counties are under a winter storm watch.

There is also a winter weather advisory issued for areas north of Charlottesville and in the Shenandoah Valley.

For information on preparing homes, businesses and vehicles for winter weather, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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