Monday, March 30, 2009

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 heavy rain and severe weather that passed through Georgia on Friday and Saturday. The counties are Baker, Colquitt, Miller, Tift, Turner and Worth. The counties requested help from the state after determining that the response to subsequent flooding exceeded local capabilities.

“This weekend’s storms brought nearly nine inches of rain to some areas of southwest Georgia, resulting in extreme flooding that caused the evacuation of homes, numerous road closures, downed trees and power lines,” said Governor Perdue. “As a result, state personnel and equipment have been requested and are being made available to assist local governments in these counties with response and recovery efforts. As always, we will continue to work with local officials to support them.”

Nine bridges and over 800 miles of roads were damaged in the counties. Nearly 100 homes were damaged. The Tift County 911 Center was struck twice by lightning and 50 residents were housed overnight by the Red Cross.

“As with all disasters, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) will work with state agencies, utility companies and volunteer organizations to coordinate disaster response and recovery activities and serve our citizens,” said GEMA Director Charley English.

Assessment teams continue to work to determine the full scope of the damage to businesses, residences and public facilities. Agencies standing by to assist local communities include GEMA - Office of Homeland Security, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

GEMA is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. For more emergency information, visit GEMA's Web site at To learn how to prepare for disaster, visit


Whereas: On March 27-28, 2009, a series of severe weather systems moved through the State of Georgia resulting in excessive rain and tornadoes which caused extensive flood and wind damage in Baker, Colquitt, Miller, Tift, Turner, and Worth Counties; and

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

Whereas: In light of these circumstances and with the authority vested in the Governor by virtue of Article 3, Section 38-3-51, of the Georgia Emergency Management Act of 1981, as amended to issue reasonable orders, rules and regulations as are deemed necessary to protect 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 Baker, Colquitt, Miller, Tift, Turner, and Worth 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 the 30th day of March, 2009.
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