(ATLANTA) — Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that President Barack Obama approved a federal disaster declaration for 15 counties including White County that bore the brunt of ice and snow on Feb. 15-17, this year. The winter weather caused 225,000 customers to lose power and also rendered many roads impassable.
Jim Butterworth, Director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security said, “I appreciate the hard work of our entire state team during the winter storm response and am grateful for their efforts to keep our residents safe, this federal assistance will be of great help to these 15 counties that incurred response and recovery costs associated with the winter storm.”
In addition to White County other area counties receiving the assistance include: Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Elbert, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Pickens, and Stephens. These counties are eligible to receive federal funds to help offset 75 percent of eligible costs of debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair or replacement for disaster-related damages, as determined by FEMA.
As winter weather threatened the state on Feb. 15, Governor Deal quickly recognized the severity of the situation and declared a state of emergency for 15 north Georgia counties. Over the next two days, due to significant damage, impassable roads and widespread power outages, Governor Deal expanded the state of emergency, adding nine more north Georgia counties.