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Gov. seeking disaster relief for 48 counties in wake of ice storm

Jennifer Ffrench-Parker | 3/6/2014, 11:34 p.m.
The winter storm that dumped snow and ice on Georgia caused damage estimated at more than $43 million. Photo by Jennifer Ffrench-Parker

Gov. Nathan Deal is seeking federal disaster relief for the 48 counties, including DeKalb, where the combined damage estimates exceed $43 million for the Feb. 10-14 winter storm.

“The storm brought destructive levels of ice that far exceeded anything we’ve seen in decades,” Deal said. “State and local agencies had to mobilize significant resources to protect lives and property and get Georgia back to normal as quickly as possible.”

The winter storm brought exceptional amounts of ice, which led to fallen trees, debris and broken power lines; created treacherous driving conditions; and harmed numerous critical facilities. The storm required response from state and local officials and the activation of the Georgia State Operations Center.

Deal submitted the request to President Barack Obama.

He said in a Feb. 26 statement that the costs associated with this storm far exceeded the federal threshold for a disaster declaration.

“These are significant expenses for the state, and a declaration by the president will allow us to recoup 75 percent of the eligible costs with federal assistance,” he said.

The other affected counties are Baldwin, Bartow, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Candler, Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, Emanuel, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Glascock, Hancock, Haralson, Heard, Jasper, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, McDuffie, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Richmond, Screven, Spalding, Upson, Walker, Warren, Washington, White, Whitfield and Wilkes.

The damage estimates were prepared by joint federal, state and local assessment teams.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency Director Charley English is coordinating the request. He will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess any further damages and provide additional justification if needed.