USDA declares five Virginia counties natural disaster areas due to Hurricane Irene

RICHMOND, Virginia , December 14, 2011 () – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated five counties in Virginia as primary natural disaster areas.

The department said Tuesday that Greensville and Lunenburg counties were designated primary natural disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Irene.

Farmers and ranchers in Brunswick, Charlotte, Dinwiddie, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Southampton and Sussex counties, and the city of Emporia also qualify for assistance because the counties are contiguous.

As a result of drought and excessive heat over the summer, Cumberland, Pittsylvania and Powhatan counties also received disaster designations. Those in Amelia, Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Chesterfield, Fluvanna, Franklin, Goochland, Halifax, Henrico, Henry and Prince Edward counties, as well as the city of Danville also may qualify.

Farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low interest emergency loans from the department.

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