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GA assesses damage

At least 39 homes have been destroyed by floods and another 190 have major damage in Georgia, and these counts are rising, according to Lisa Janak, spokesperson for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | July 14, 2005

At least 39 homes have been destroyed by floods and another 190 have major damage in Georgia, and these counts are rising, according to Lisa Janak, spokesperson for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

North Georgia sustained the most damage, she said, particularly the Sweetwater Creek area in Douglas and Cobb counties in north Georgia. But people in the southern part of the state tend to be more vulnerable, she pointed out. “People in north Georgia will probably be better off economically than in south Georgia.”

Georgia has requested a disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration, which would make people eligible for low-interest loans to repair flood damage.

But a federal declaration for individual assistance is not likely to happen, said Janak. “ “We have an odd situation. We have all these pockets of flooding. If this was a huge disaster covering a huge region, it would almost be easier to advocate for. People are so frustrated. They’re so upset. I wish there was more we could do for them.”

Janak said help from faith-based and voluntary groups would be especially important given the dim chance for a federal declaration - and the lack of flood insurance among affected people.

The state was hit by back-to-back tropical storms, Cindy and Dennis. “Most losses from Cindy were insured. That was our wind event,” said Janak. “Not the case with Dennis. A lot of people don’t have flood insurance. It’s terrible to hear about.”

Disaster assistance centers are open in the communities of Woodstock, Lithia, Sylvester and Moultrie.


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