ATLANTA – Today Governor Sonny Perdue asked President Bush for a major disaster declaration to assist residents and local governments in Bibb, Carroll, Crawford, Douglas, Emanuel, Glynn, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, McIntosh, Truetlen, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties with emergency response measures and aid for losses resulting from the severe weather and tornadoes that occurred on Sunday, May 11, 2008.
“These tornadoes devastated businesses, homes and families – disrupting lives across the state,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I am optimistic that our federal partners will recognize the dramatic extent of this damage and will render the appropriate assistance to help Georgians recover and rebuild in the aftermath of this severe weather.”
Several injuries were reported and three people were killed by the severe weather on Mother's Day, May 11, 2008. A man died in Laurens County near Dublin when his home was destroyed by a tornado, a woman was struck and killed in Duluth by a falling tree limb that was snapped by high winds and a man died after being struck when high winds toppled a tree in Winder.
The disaster declaration is requested as the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) continues to work with local officials to assess and recover from the damages caused by the storms. GEMA officials estimate initial governmental response and clean up efforts will exceed $11 million.
The request is for Public Assistance with emergency protective measures, debris removal and public buildings. This request also includes Individual Assistance for affected households. Approximately 2,100 homes were impacted statewide. The residents of 650 of those homes will need help with repair or replacement costs.
The National Weather Service confirmed that at least 20 tornadoes struck on Sunday, the second highest number on record for a single day in Georgia. The record was set on March 1, 2007, when 21 tornadoes hit the state. The storm that touched down in McIntosh County was a violent EF4 tornado (166-200 mph wind speeds) which is rare for Georgia.
For additional information on storm damage and assistance, visit http://www.gema.ga.gov/.
This information from the Georgia Governor's office.