President Bush has authorized additional relief for Georgia communities hit by tornadoes and severe storms earlier this month, saying the federal government would pick up the full tab for debris removal and other eligible expenses instead of requiring a local match.
President Bush named nine Georgia counties disaster areas after the March 1 tornadoes killed nine people statewide.
Such declarations typically require state and local governments to split 25 percent of the covered costs, but Bush on Friday said the federal government would cover 100 percent of eligible expenses in Georgia.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has estimated insured losses statewide at $210 million, a record for disasters of this type. Most of those losses — in excess of $100 million — were in Americus and surrounding Sumter County.
Six of the victims lived in mobile homes in Baker County and two in Americus, a southwest Georgia city of 17,000 that also lost its only hospital.
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