Presidential disaster declaration may be coming - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Presidential disaster declaration may be coming

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Emergency management officials say it's possible that a Presidential disaster declaration will come soon for Southwest Georgia.

FEMA already has a location in Dougherty County picked out where federal officials will help flood victims apply for financial assistance.

More than 40 homes in Dougherty County sustained some type of flood damage over the past few weeks. Some roads are still impassable.

"We have several roads, primarily in the eastern part of Dougherty County and they still have water on them," said Public Works Director Larry Cook.

While it may still take several more days for that water to clear, and even longer for the damage to homes to be repaired, some relief for homeowners may soon be on the way.

"I feel good about the fact we've met all the obligations that were set forth for us from FEMA," said Deputy EMA Director Jim Vaught.

Vaught says FEMA has already asked for a place where they can set up a worksite to help people apply for financial assistance. "We have submitted and asked we be considered a Presidential declaration and we're leading forward by getting a facility ready to bring people in and help them fill out the paperwork for individual assistance."

Southwest Georgia hasn't been declared a Presidential disaster area yet, but Vaught is hopeful that will happen soon.

In the meantime, County Commissioner John Hayes is hosting a quarterly listening session tomorrow night with folks who live in District two in order to discuss any concerns they may have.

"The government exists for the people, so we want to be sure we have our government more accessible or as accessible as possible," Hayes said.

While the session isn't only for flood related issues, county staff will be on hand to help any questions or concerns regarding recent flooding.

The community listening session in District two will be held at the Episcopal Church of St. John and St. Mark tomorrow night at seven.

Mosquitoes have also become a major problem in the county. Public works has received more than 200 calls from folks complaining about mosquitoes.

Crews are spraying seven days a week, eight hours a day.

To do your part, make sure you pour out any standing water around your home.

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