Northam approves Stoney request to extend state of emergency in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph Northam (D) signed an executive order extending the state of emergency in Richmond after Mayor Levar Stoney sent the governor a letter Monday requesting that it be continued for another 30 days.

Northam cited the ongoing civil unrest in the city behind his decision to extend the state of emergency, which expired on June 29 after being declared for Virginia on May 31. The extended order will be in effect until July 30.

“Over the last 30 days, that unrest has continued in parts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The City of Richmond continues to experience and address daily protests, rallies, marches and other public demonstrations,” the order states.

In his letter, Stoney notes that the city has faced fiscal and workplace challenges due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and that it has “minimum funding to cover costs.”

“We have increased the number of personnel on duty daily to ensure Richmonders are protected as much as possible,” the mayor wrote. “Emergency matters unrelated to protests persist, and without extending Emergency Declaration (Executive Order-Sixty-Four), the bandwidth of our personnel will reach its limit due to the additional demand to curtail damage done by bad-faith demonstrators.”

The governor’s order makes way for additional resources to be provided to Richmond “to prepare for and respond to this situation, to alleviate any conditions resulting from the situation, and to implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities so as to return impacted areas to pre-event conditions as much as possible.”

These resources include potentially implementing the state’s emergency operations plan, activating the emergency operations center and the emergency support team, allowing state agencies to enter into contracts without following state requirement or regulation, activating the National Guard to the state active duty and authorizing a maximum of $350,000 in state funds to be provided for the response.

A spokeswoman for the governor told 8News that the state has “absolutely no plans to deploy the National Guard,” saying that it’s standard practice to include the language in state of emergency declarations.

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