MCAuliffe Tours DamageRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Federal officials are denying Virginia’s request for aid  for people whose homes and businesses were damaged by tornadoes that swept through the state in February. Virginia Department of Emergency Management officials said in a statement Monday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe was notified Friday that the request was denied. McAuliffe submitted a request for recovery aid in March for Appomattox, Essex and Sussex counties, the three counties hardest hit by the storms. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said in a letter that the severity and magnitude of the damage was not “beyond the capabilities” of the commonwealth and local governments. State Coordinator Jeff Stern says officials are disappointed by the denial and plan an appeal that “illustrates the widespread impacts from the tornadoes.”