Northam declares state of emergency due to weather

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency today in response to the weekend's storm warnings.

The statement was issued in advance of the anticipated effects of winter weather expected this weekend including snow, ice, and high winds throughout much of the state. This will likely result in downed trees, power outages, and transportation impacts, according to the statement from Northam's office.

The executive order is designed to help Virginia mitigate any damage caused by the winter weather event and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to provide assistance to localities and communities impacted by storm effects, the release added.

“I am declaring a state of emergency in order to prepare and coordinate the Commonwealth’s response to anticipated winter storm impacts, including snow and ice Governor Northam said in the statement. “Virginians should take precautions to stay safe as we begin experiencing winter weather effects.”

A state of emergency allows the state to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.

The action does not apply to individuals or private businesses, the statement added.