ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There was high praise for South Georgia community's leadership, following our recent disaster.
Retired Major General Thomas Moore presented Dougherty County's commission chair with a $3.6 million federal reimbursement check on Monday.
It's the first large amount of money the county has received to cover some costs from January's EF-3 tornado, specifically debris clean-up and replacing damaged traffic signs.
General Moore went off script during the presentation, and complimented the collaborative leadership exhibited by Albany's Mayor, the commission chairman, and other local leaders. He said it was impressive and unique.
"They were one team, one fight. And you don't see that everywhere, and I know. I have seen other areas that go through similar catastrophes, and they were not as cohesive," said Moore, Deputy Director of GEMA and Homeland Security
"They were one team, one fight. And, you don't see that everywhere. And, I know. I have seen other areas that go through similar catastrophes, and they were not as cohesive," said Moore.
General Moore recalled his first minutes into a tour of the massive damage caused by the January tornadoes, the largest tornado outbreak in Georgia on record in any month, according to the National Weather Service. General Moore said he realized within 'five or ten minutes' the damage was 'much greater' in Dougherty County than initially assessed.
General Moore said he realized within 'five or ten minutes' the damage was 'much greater' in Dougherty County than initially assessed.
He called the Region Four FEMA director immediately, requesting federal help, who in turn contacted the Small Business Administration.
General Moore said the last year has been a learning experience for the state agency. He said changes have been made to improve emergency response, specifically educating local and state leaders on the reimbursement process.
General Moore hopes it will make the state 'a little more ready as a whole' for the next disaster.
We know our local leaders will continue to work closely with state and federal leaders seeking the additional financial help we need.
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