Saturday, February 28, 2009

Governor Issues Executive Order Allowing for Rapid Timber Removal From Storm-Affected Areas

Governor Sonny Perdue issued an executive order today allowing lumber truck operators to obtain oversize permits accommodating the emergency removal of damaged timber caused by storms on February 18. Damage occurred across the state, resulting in Governor Perdue declaring a State of Emergency in four Georgia counties. One of those counties, Thomas County in Southwest Georgia, experienced catastrophic damage to timber trees.

Oversize permits for timber removal may be issued by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Oversize Permits Unit, during normal business hours from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 1-800-570-5428.

Yesterday, U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Darryl Hairston announced Georgia residents and businesses affected by the storms and tornadoes can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.

Acting Administrator Hairston made the loans available in response to a letter from Governor Perdue on February 23, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Thomas County and the adjacent counties of Brooks, Colquitt, Grady and Mitchell in Georgia, and Jefferson and Leon counties in Florida.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Georgia with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans,” said Hairston. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center in Atlanta. SBA’s customer service representatives will be on hand at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center will be located in the following community and will open as indicated:

Thomas County, Emergency Services Center
1202 Remington Avenue
Thomasville, Georgia 31792
Open weekdays: Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Open: Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Interest rates are as low as 2.187 percent for homeowners and renters, and four percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the Center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, or by sending an email to Business loan applications can also be found at . Completed applications should be returned to the Center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX. 76155.

Victims may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure website at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is April 27, 2009. The deadline to return economic injury applications is November 26, 2009.

The text of the Governor’s executive order:

WHEREAS: Recent tornado activity in Thomas County, Georgia has caused catastrophic damage to timber trees; and

WHEREAS: The safe and efficient removal of this damaged timber is in the best interest of the state and local governments; and

WHEREAS: It has been determined that specific restrictions can be lifted on lumber trucks to accommodate for the emergency removal of damaged timber; and

WHEREAS: It is requested that the State of Georgia allow vehicles transporting such loads to travel on pre-approved state maintained roadways as indicated on the maps provided; and

WHEREAS: Authorization of the Georgia Department of Transportation to issue permits accommodating the movement of vehicles and loads as stated above with coordination and cooperation from law enforcement of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, Motor Carrier Compliance Division is warranted.


That weight, height and length for any such vehicle on roadways maintained by the State of Georgia shown on maps provided, shall not exceed the following:

A maximum gross vehicle weight for vehicles equipped with five (5) weight bearing axles, shall not exceed a gross weight of eighty-eight thousand (88,000) pounds, a height of fourteen (14) feet and an overall length of one hundred (100) feet. Travel is limited to daylight hours only beginning thirty (30) minutes after sunrise and ending thirty (30) minutes before sunset. Permitted loads must comply with the load limitations posted at any bridge on any public road in the State.

Transporters are responsible for ensuring they have proper oversize signs, markings, flags and escorts as defined in the Georgia Department of Transportation, Rules and Regulations 672-2-.06 and 672-2-.07.

Permits may be issued by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Oversize Permits Unit, during normal business hours from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 1-800-570-5428.

This Executive Order shall be valid for thirty (30) days form this date.

This the 28th day of February, 2009.

Governor Sonny Perdue
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