Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that the state’s plea for federal aid following Hurricane Michael has been approved in 37 Georgia counties.
Six of those, Baker, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Miller and Seminole counties, will receive individual assistance, meaning funding will be made available to those hit hardest by the storms. Such aid can include money for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to help ease the burden of uninsured property losses.
31 more counties will receive public assistance, meaning that the federal government will help to provide emergency work and debris removal in the fallout of the storm. Those central and south Georgia counties include Baker, Bleckley, Burke, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Emanuel, Grady, Houston, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Treutlen, Turner, Wilcox and Worth.
Said Deal on the quick response from Washington, “On behalf of Georgians, I’m tremendously grateful for the immediate attention and extremely quick assistance President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have given Georgia’s requests for federal aid, as well as the president’s concern for our citizens. I look forward to welcoming President Trump to Georgia this afternoon as federal, state and local partners continue our efforts to work together and rebuild communities devastated by Hurricane Michael. This declaration will provide much-needed assistance in the most heavily impacted areas to help families and businesses recover as quickly as possible. I am also encouraged by the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in response and recovery efforts, including emergency management officials, first responders, recovery teams, law enforcement and citizens helping their neighbors.”
Meanwhile on Monday President Donald Trump touched down in Georgia to survey the damage, where he was joined by Governor Nathan Deal, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, as well as U.S. Congressmen Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) and Austin Scott (GA-08).
Trump visited with a handful of farmers who have been devastated by the storm as well as a Red Cross facility in Macon where he told journalists he would be asking for additional federal aid to help with disaster relief.
Fortunately for central and south Georgia residents much of the electricity is already back online. Georgia Power said that 97% of power cut out by the storm has been restored as of Monday afternoon, with only some individuals in the Albany area still in the dark.
Residents and business owners in affected counties can begin applying for assistance online here or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.