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Governor seeks federal aid in wake of fatal Georgia flooding

Death toll up to at least 9

"I request direct Federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property."

- Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA), in a written request to President Obama, September 22, 2009


Flooded homes are shown in Mableton, Georgia, just west
of Atlanta, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. Heavy rains that be-
gan on Sept. 18, 2009, caused record flooding around the
Atlanta area.(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), announced Tuesday that he has petitioned President Obama to declare an "emergency declaration" for the counties in the state that were affected by recent record rainfalls and flooding.

According to the governor's office, Perdue requested that the 17 counties for which he declared a state of emergency on Monday, all be part of the president's declaration. If Obama does indeed declare the flooding in much of metro Atlanta a federal emergency, that will allow "federal funds for emergency response measures and aid for losses," the state said in an announcement released Tuesday.

"This request for disaster funding is essential for the recovery and rebuilding process to begin," Perdue said at his announcement.

In his written request to the president, made through FEMA's Regional Administrator, Major Phillip May, the governor said:

"Currently, over 300 people are in shelters, with additional persons expected as the flood waters expand. The numbers of homes affected can only be estimated at this point due to the inaccessibility to the impacted areas from the still rising waters. Over 30,000 residences in the metropolitan area are without power. Dozens of state and local roads are closed over the affected region with no estimate of when they may be reopened, causing delays in emergency response and cutting off communities from essential services."

 AP reports that, as of 4:00 pm EDT, Tuesday, state authorities have announced the death toll in Georgia is now at nine, directly attributable to the torrential rains and flooding that began September 18, 2009 and culminated with record creek and river overflows on Monday.

The last declared federal disaster in Georgia was just this past spring, when tornadoes and flooding struck southern and western parts of the state.

For more info: See the latest news on the Georgia flooding on Examiner.com.
Like this column? Perry is also the Public Health Policy Examiner. You can follow Perry @atlpol on Twitter, or just click on the "Share" icon below and Digg it, share it on Facebook, or whatever avenue you prefer. You can also Email me at pbgoodfriend@gmail.com.
If you like my editorial bent, check out the archives on my blog, proseandthorn.net.

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