Ga. Pursues Federal Damage Assessment

September 13, 2004

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has directed the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) to pursue a federal damage assessment in the wake of Hurricane Frances.

GEMA has in turn made a formal request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The assessments will determine whether Georgia may be eligible for federal assistance under the Public Assistance (PA) Program.

Initial reports indicate that counties throughout the state incurred significant costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures and power restoration. Approximately 102 counties have reported impact on their public infrastructure as a result of the storm with 45 counties indicating major damages and 57 counties reporting moderate damages.

“I am grateful to counties and cities across the state for quickly compiling these damage estimates,” the Governor said. “Their cooperation is especially significant given they are in the difficult position of recovering from Hurricane Frances and preparing for the potential arrival of Hurricane Ivan.”

Since Hurricane Ivan’s track continues to be unpredictable at this time, Georgia is also facing the possibility of additional damages from the current tropical system. For this reason, the number of counties reporting damages could increase altering the initial estimates.

“Hurricane Ivan is a powerful storm, and has been unpredictable,” Mike Sherberger, GEMA director said. “We are working closely with federal, local and other state entities to coordinate our response should additional problems develop.”

FEMA will begin PDAs as soon as possible weather permitting. The process will involve a team of FEMA, GEMA and local officials making onsite visits to the impacted areas to verify damage estimates. Based on their assessment, Gov. Perdue will decide whether the state will proceed in making a federal disaster declaration.

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