Governor Issues State of Emergency as Tropical Depression Ida Hits Virginia

Date: September 02, 2021

Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to respond to impacts from Tropical Depression Ida on Tuesday, August 31st, which is expected to cause heavy rains and flooding along the I-81 and I-66 corridors.

 

A state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts. The declaration also allows officials from Virginia to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with our state and local partners.

 

The Governor’s order has also triggered Virginia’s anti-price gouging statutes.

 

Enacted in 2004, Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act prohibits a supplier from charging “unconscionable prices” for “necessary goods and services” during the thirty-day period following a declared state of emergency. Items and services covered by these protections include but are not limited to water, ice, food, generators, batteries, home repair materials and services, and tree removal services. The basic test for determining if a price is unconscionable is whether the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price charged for the same or similar goods or services during the ten days immediately prior to the disaster.

 

Violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act with the exception of claims related to gasoline and motor fuel prices, which are handled by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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