Obama Signs Flood Aid as Calls for Help Grow

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President Obama signed a disaster declaration Thursday for Carroll, Cobb, Cherokee, Douglas, and Paulding Counties in the wake of this week’s flooding that has left nine people dead and caused at least $250 million damage.

The declaration paves the way for federal relief that includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

“The recovery is just now beginning,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “We have a great deal of work to do and I appreciate President Obama’s approval of the disaster declaration. We will continue to work closely with FEMA as damage assessments continue and further assistance becomes available.”

Affected residents and business owners can begin the application process by clicking here or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

Perdue declared a state of emergency in 17 Georgia counties Monday and asked Obama to declare those federal disaster areas. The request covering the other 12 counties not included in Thursday’s order is pending.

“We are coordinating the recovery effort with our local, state, federal, and volunteer partners,” GEMA Director Charley English said Thursday. “Damage assessment teams are continuing to work with local authorities in all affected areas of the state to assess losses.”

Atlanta Fire Rescue began picking through the wreckage Wednesday, finding 59 single family homes, 55 multifamily homes, and 1 business destroyed.

Atlanta City Councilmember Felicia Moore (District 9) is circulating an e-mail asking for help for residents in her district affected by the flood of the Chattahoochee River, Peachtree, Proctor, and Sandy Creeks, and the damage to the RM Clayton Wastewater Treatment Plant. Moore said there is a particular focus on the Bolton/Lincoln Hills community.

On Friday at 10 a.m., volunteers are assembling at the intersection of Maldo Drive and Argyle Drive in that community and again Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. at the First Baptist Church Chatahoochee (1950 Bolton Rd. NW) to help with the cleanup.

Organizers are asking volunteers to bring cleaning supplies like bleach, disinfectants, and gloves as well as toiletries and baby supplies.

Perdue challenged all Georgians Thursday to serve their communities during Hands On Georgia Week, which kicks off Saturday and runs through October 3.

“As we’ve watched communities impacted by the storms come together during the past week, we’ve been reminded that nothing is as powerful as neighbors helping neighbors,” Perdue said. “Every Georgian can find something they are passionate about, whether it’s helping those affected by a natural disaster, working with children or senior citizens, cleaning up and preserving our state’s natural resources, or supporting fine arts programs.”

To learn more about the program and about how to get involved, visit www.handsongeorgia.org.

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