Georgia counties to receive funds from federal disaster declaration after Hurricane Idalia
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Three Georgia counties will soon receive federal relief now that President Joe Biden has officially declared a major disaster in the state of Georgia.
Wednesday, Governor Brian Kemp requested aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to 30 county governments here in the Peach State. Late Thursday, three counties, including Lowndes, Cook and Glynn were granted federal funding from President Biden.
Now that Lowndes County will receive FEMA funds, residents and businesses can apply for grants for temporary housing, repairs, and low-cost loans for uninsured property losses. Money for local governments and some non-profits will go towards debris removal and emergency protective measures.
“It’s been brutal. This is the first hurricane in our 166-year history,” Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson said. “We just did a $2 million contract this morning to aid ourselves, and we’re still looking at six to eight weeks for clean up.”
Lowndes County sustained the worst damage, with around 80 homes destroyed and over 800 homes with major damage as winds reached nearly 70 mph.
“It has been inspiring to watch everybody turn around and help each other. It was inspiring to see almost 1,500 bucket trucks from Mississippi and Alabama show up in our community to get our power restored fast,” Matheson said.
Hurricane Idalia left over 90% of the Lowndes County community without power. Homes and businesses suffered from flooding and downed trees and powerlines. Kemp estimated Georgia governments saw at least $41 million in damage — exceeding the $19 million required statewide for a disaster declaration.
“Residents and business owners here in Lowndes County who sustained losses due to Hurricane Idalia can begin applying for FEMA assistance by going to disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362,” Lowndes County Public Information Officer Meghan Barwick said.
The Georgia Management Agency expects more counties will be added with additional types of assistance granted.
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