Sunday, May 11, 2008

Governor Perdue Declares State of Emergency for Six Counties

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

The text of Governor Perdue’s executive order is below:
WHEREAS: On May 11, 2008, a severe weather system moved into the State of Georgia producing severe thunderstorms resulting in excessive rain, hail and tornadoes which caused extensive damage in Bibb, Carroll, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson and Laurens Counties

WHEREAS: The assistance of the government of the State of Georgia is necessary to protect the public health, preserve the public safety, keep property damage to a minimum and restore the social and economic welfare of these counties; and

WHEREAS: In light of these circumstances the exercise of the authority vested in the Governor pursuant to Article 3, Section 38-3-51, of the Georgia Emergency Management Act of 1981, as amended is warranted to issue reasonable orders, rules and regulations as are deemed necessary to preserve public health, safety and welfare, and to bring the emergency situation under control within the acknowledged limitations of the powers of the Governor.

NOW, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: That a State of Emergency exists in Bibb, Carroll, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson and Laurens Counties.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED: That personnel and equipment resources of the State of Georgia be made available to assist in the response and recovery activities currently being undertaken in the above mentioned counties and that the Georgia Emergency Management Agency activate the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan.

This 11th day of May, 2008
Governor Sonny Perdue

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