Lawmakers talk storm damage, recovery on first day of General As - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers talk storm damage, recovery on first day of General Assembly

The 2017 Georgia General Assembly convened Monday in Atlanta. (Source: WALB) The 2017 Georgia General Assembly convened Monday in Atlanta. (Source: WALB)
"Those of us that have been working with the state can tell you they have been with us from day 1." said Sen. Freddie Powell Sims of District 12. (Source: WALB) "Those of us that have been working with the state can tell you they have been with us from day 1." said Sen. Freddie Powell Sims of District 12. (Source: WALB)
"I'm very optimistic about where we're going to be in the next 48-72 hours," said Rep. Darrel Ealum of District 153. (Source: WALB) "I'm very optimistic about where we're going to be in the next 48-72 hours," said Rep. Darrel Ealum of District 153. (Source: WALB)
"I think that the leaders in Albany are doing the absolute best that they can," said Rep. Winfred Dukes of District 154. (Source: WALB) "I think that the leaders in Albany are doing the absolute best that they can," said Rep. Winfred Dukes of District 154. (Source: WALB)
Rep. Gerald Greene of District 151 said they hope to push for additional financial help as well. (Source: WALB) Rep. Gerald Greene of District 151 said they hope to push for additional financial help as well. (Source: WALB)
ATLANTA, GA (WALB) -

The 2017 Georgia General Assembly convened Monday in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, some concerns have come up about how fast the government responded and continues to respond to Albany and its surrounding areas after the storm.

Going into Day 1 of the General Assembly, lawmakers from South Georgia had a different outlook thanks to the devastation from last Monday's storm.

"There is the appearance of, or may be the appearance of slow go from the state, but those of us that have been working with the state can tell you they have been with us from day 1." said Sen. Freddie Powell Sims of District 12.

"While it is our hope that we would have been able to respond better, I think that the leaders in Albany are doing the absolute best that they can," said Rep. Winfred Dukes of District 154.

The delegation representing Albany stressed that it is a situation the government wasn't fully prepared for. That, plus a slow response getting a state of emergency declared caused some problems.

However, legislators said they took the initiative in the days following the storm to contact GEMA and Governor Nathan Deal's office looking for help.

With additional help on the way, including 6 FEMA teams set to hit the ground Wednesday, legislators say it's looking up.

"Yes things could have been better, but I'm very pleased with where we are right now and I'm very optimistic about where we're going to be in the next 48-72 hours," said Rep. Darrel Ealum of District 153.

Rep. Gerald Greene of District 151 said they hope to push for additional financial help as well.

"We also want to make sure that we are taken care of in regard to the tornado disaster. There may be some added funding in there that we may see as a need for the city and the county and surrounding areas," said Rep. Greene.

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