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
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.
"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.