Tift families begin process to get FEMA aid - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tift families begin process to get FEMA aid

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

TIFT COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Amy Giddens still vividly remembers her boys warnings about rising flood waters. "They were getting really scared and nervous, and said we got to get out of here mama. The water is getting in the door."

And that was when she packed them into the van and drove them out of the rushing water. "I was scared my van wasn't going to make it because you can feel the current pulling on it. We were scared that the water was going to take us away," said Giddens.

Giddens was one of 10 families in McInnis Mills who were flooded out March 28th. And only two of those homes had flood insurance. "We were able to get a rental house. So now we are paying our mortgage plus our rent," said Giddens.

"And we talked to the mortgage company, and they won't even cut us a break." So far families have had to pay for any repair work out of pocket, and say any aid would be a big help. "I am hoping that FEMA will help us out because of the beds that we have lost the couches."

Giddens husband applied for FEMA assistance online. "Within a couple of hours of him registering online we were receiving calls." And she is now waiting on an agent to assess her personal damage. "We've made lists and got pictures of everything we have lost."

Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and loans to cover uninsured costs. "I don't wish this on anybody because this has been a hard situation, losing your merchandise and things. At least we got out safely," said Giddens.

Giddens now hopes the situation becomes better with funding from FEMA. The declaration makes federal money available for individuals in 17-counties: Berrien, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Early, Echols, Grady, Lowndes, MItchell, Montgomery, Pierce, Toombs and Ware.

Local governments in 18-counties are eligible to get help paying for debris removal, emergency work and repair of public facilities. People can apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. You can also click here to apply online.

You can also read that press release here.

President Declares Major Disaster for Georgia Following Severe Storms, Flooding, Tornadoes

Senators Chambliss, Isakson applaud announcement that will trigger federal assistance

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., applauded President Obama's decision Thursday evening to issue a disaster declaration for the state of Georgia, triggering the release of federal funds to help communities recover from severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that hit the state on March 26 and have continued over the past several weeks. 

The designation includes assistance to individuals and households in Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Coffee, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Echols, Lanier, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Pierce, Tift, Ware, Wheeler and Worth counties. Additionally, the designation includes state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities in Applying, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Early, Echols, Grady, Lowndes, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pierce, Toombs and Ware counties. Additional designations may be made at a later date after further evaluation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"This is welcome news for those who greatly need assistance in recovering from the severe weather that has struck South Georgia in the past few weeks," said Chambliss. "There are certainly many areas that are going to need a helping hand, so I hope additional designations will be forthcoming once the assessments are completed."

"I thank the president for this disaster declaration for all of the Georgia counties affected by these devastating storms, flooding and tornadoes. This will ensure that these communities in South Georgia will be eligible for much-needed federal assistance in their recovery efforts," Isakson said.

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