ATLANTA – Today Governor Sonny Perdue issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in six counties affected by the severe weather that passed through Georgia last night. The six counties are Bibb, Carroll, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson and Laurens.
“Last night’s storms left trees downed, houses damaged and roads blocked across western and central Georgia,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Needed state resources are being made available to assist in the cleanup efforts, and we will continue to actively work with local officials to support them.”
The executive order allows for state resources to be available for response and recovery activities, and calls for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) to activate the state’s Emergency Operations Plan.
While damage assessments are still being calculated, there has been one fatality reported in Laurens County, hundreds of homes damaged across the state and public buildings such as the Georgia Forestry Commission headquarters and facilities at Macon State College have been impacted.
“As with all disasters, GEMA will coordinate the deployment of public safety agencies, utility companies and the volunteer community to meet the needs of our citizens,” said GEMA Director Charley English.
Assessment teams will begin work to determine the full scope of the damage to businesses, state facilities and residences. The State Operations Center will be activated until further notice to provide assistance and will continue to monitor the situation. Agencies standing by to assist local communities include GEMA - Office of Homeland Security, Georgia Building Authority, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Technology Authority, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office, Georgia Department of Human Resources, Georgia Department of Defense and the Georgia Department of Agriculture
GEMA is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. For more emergency information and updates, contact GEMA at 1-800-TRY-GEMA (1-800-879-4362) or visit www.gema.ga.gov.