Additional counties added to disaster list; emergency center opened

Two additional counties have been added to Georgia’s disaster list and those in the most severely impacted area have a new way to get help.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Georgia today to tour damage from this year’s historic flood, which claimed nine lives and caused more than $250 million in damage.

Biden, speaking from the American Red Cross shelter at the Cobb Civic Center in Marietta, announced that Chattooga and Stephens counties have been added to the disaster list originally announced Thursday by President Barack Obama. Residents and business owners in the following counties now can apply for federal financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration: Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, Paulding and Stephens.

While Biden actually announced that three counties were added to the list today, he included Carroll, which the White House announced Thursday afternoon.

Also Friday, FEMA and its state equivalent, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, announced that a disaster recovery center opened today in Austell, one of the hardest hit areas of the state. People who suffered losses can get in-person assistance and speak with specialists skilled in disaster recovery. The center, open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, is at The Threadmill, 5000 Austell/Powder Springs Road, Suite 120, in Austell.

Biden spoke to Red Cross volunteers, shelter residents and reporters after touring the flood damage from the air. Joined by several federal, state and local elected officials. Biden said the damage is severe. One woman he spoke with lost her home, he said, and was distraught. She said she realized this storm pales to Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans in 2005.

“The truth of the matter,” Biden said, “is for someone who lost their home, it is Katrina. For some in this shelter, it is Katrina.”

While the overall scope does not approach the damage Katrina wrought on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the impact for many is the same.

“It’s more than a physical loss,” he said. “It’s a psychological loss.”

Biden, joined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, said federal damage assessment teams are continuing to survey the region and that more counties could be added to the disaster list in the days ahead.

Gov. Sonny Perdue originally asked Obama to declare an emergency in 17 Georgia counties. Perdue is on a trade mission to Panama and was not with Biden today. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle stood in for the governor. U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), whose district includes hard-hit Douglas, joined Biden.

Georgia’s two U.S. senators, both Republicans, joined Biden on the tour today and praised the Obama administration for its quick response.

“This administration responded in a very magnificent way and in a very quick way,” Chambliss said.

But not all are convinced. On Thursday, Cobb County Commission chairman Sam Olens, a Republican running for attorney general, criticized the administration for seemingly dragging its feet in declaring a disaster in Cobb. But that was before the president’s announcement.

On Friday, DeKalb County commissioner Lee May said his county was overlooked.

May is asking that DeKalb County be added to the disaster area list., saying “hundreds” of homeowners were flooded.
”We had five feet of water in our house — our entire first floor was ruined,” May said.

May, who lives by the Yellow River, said he didn’t think the county had done a good enough job explaining how many of its citizens were harmed by the historic flooding. He said the county’s sewage plant on the Yellow River was flooded and a community meeting he had for flood victims had at least 200 people in the room.

Back in Marietta, however, Deandra Moses was thankful for the shelter.

Moses, 21, is staying at the Civic Center shelter with her two young children, a son, age 4, and a daughter 3.

They had been in Georgia all of two days when the floods washed out their temporary home. Moses said they were staying with a friend and she isn’t even sure where it was.

“I’m not even sure where I am now,” Moses said outside the Civic Center as Biden spoke with other residents inside.

Moses said they saved some clothes and got more at the shelter from the American Red Cross.

“Everything else is gone,” she said.

The children are dealing as well as can be expected, she said, although her daughter, Deniyjah, has been waking with nightmares.

Still, Moses said she was pleased to see Biden. It makes her believe that someone cares what happens to her.

“It’s exciting,” she said

Staff Writer Steve Visser contributed.

44 comments Add your comment

Wow

September 25th, 2009
12:53 pm

Your Guvunah is on a trade mission to Panama, and you all were mad that the President didn’t show up. Seems like as long as none of this flooding was down in Perry or points to the south, the Guvunah doesn’t give a hoot. Where was the Ga National Guard, and why were they never deployed to assist at all?

Georgia leadership at its best.

Stookie

September 25th, 2009
1:00 pm

I’m glad there was a quick amd sympathetic response from OUR president’s administration. Both parties are so similar it makes me laugh to see all of the negative comments on here. No matter what party is in office, they want to spend our money.

JN

September 25th, 2009
1:10 pm

I’ll be so happy when we have a Republican president again. Then we won’t have to hear about all this coming to the aid of people. We should not help people, they should help themselves. Bush/Palin 2012

Leslie McCoy

September 25th, 2009
1:11 pm

Why isn’t Gwinnett County included in the disaster area? My whole subdivision experienced flooding and we are not near a creek, a river or in a floodplain area and so we do not have flood insurance. There was massive flooding in Gwinnett and deaths due to the flooding. We need help, too!

Demarcus

September 25th, 2009
1:21 pm

“To reform health care I am going to have all the negotiations around a big table. These negotiations will be televised on C-SPAN so that people can see who is making the arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so that approach I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” – Barack Obama……………………………………..You lie Mr. President!!!

Roddy

September 25th, 2009
1:28 pm

If you suffered damages in the flood – start off by calling FEMA to register. Even if you’re in a county not declared (yet), you can still register and they’ll have the information for if/when your county is declared. Even if you think you have insurance coverage for your loss, go ahead and register to preserve your rights.

FEMA –> 1 (800) 621-FEMA

HYPOCRITES

September 25th, 2009
1:32 pm

LMAO @ JN you’re so funny that it’s sad to know people actually think like this.

It’s also funny how these Republican people in Georgia are asking for GOVERNMENT help when some of them are the main ones that were criticizing too much GOVERNMENT help in people lives talk about HYPOCRITES.

Michael

September 25th, 2009
1:33 pm

What is so wrong with helping others who never knew the 100 year flood was coming? jn is( a cold hearted bit$&. Go play more tennis to your ERRR!!! (I shudder to the possibility YOU ever need help..go to ………….

Michael

September 25th, 2009
1:35 pm

By the way JN..go have another cocktail.

RB

September 25th, 2009
1:39 pm

I find it appalling that you people are asking for help. If you would work hard you could have a better life. When the Republicans are back in the White House, we won’t have to listen to this garbage. Palin for President 2012

Michael

September 25th, 2009
1:44 pm

I think jn and rb are…well, I guess everyone can’t grow up with a silver spoon shoved up their a ho!#. Husband and wife ..Huh? On this topic, you lose.

Not Late

September 25th, 2009
1:45 pm

The Federal Government learned a good lesson from Katrina disaster and they responded on Georgia Historic Flood, 2009. However, the Georgia State Government have not shown that they learned any valuable lesson; no National Guard or A.C. of Engineers deployed to help the victims and the Governor went to Panama.

SILVER SPOON FED BABIES

September 25th, 2009
1:51 pm

@ RB & JN you call living off your ancestors INHERITENCE & TRUST FUNDS working hard.

SILVER SPOON FED BABIES

September 25th, 2009
1:54 pm

INHERITENCE & TRUST FUNDS SOUNDS LIKE ANOTHER FORM OF SOLOLISM TO ME. TALK ABOUT HYPOCRITES

The Truth

September 25th, 2009
2:14 pm

“You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent….. I’m not joking.” – Joe Biden “I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The Presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.” – Joe Biden on Barack Obama late 2007. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.” – Joe Biden 2001. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking man. I mean that’s a storybook, man.” – Joe Biden

Jethro

September 25th, 2009
2:32 pm

Fox news asked – Mr. Vice President, if Mrs. Licoln were here today what question would you ask about her husband? “I’d ask her, aside from your husbands untimely demise, how did she like the play?” After the Kennedy tragedy in Dallas, “Today we mourn a real man, not a fake man. If he were a fake man he wouldn’t be dead. Right?”

Kay

September 25th, 2009
2:33 pm

Wow JN

I hope your family doesn’t happen to be in a position that our neighbors are in now and have to depend on a women who doesn’t know where Russia is. God help you.

FEAR

September 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

JN should be sent to North Korea. Go work in a field 12 hrs a day for a bowl of rice. dipsh*t

emack06

September 25th, 2009
2:39 pm

One thing. I have to thank the many local, county, and municipal police officers/fire fighters/ems workers/first responders who showed great diligence and courage in dealing with the flooding. I am absolutely sure your efforts saved lives.

not amazed

September 25th, 2009
2:44 pm

Enter your comments here
RB & JN are two ignorant people and are thoughtless when it comes down to people’s livelihood. I am sure you have never been in a position to ask for anything.
God still forgives those who continue to walk with the devil but remember you will reap what you sow.

Diva_Lady

September 25th, 2009
2:46 pm

We appreciate you Comm. Lee May but where is Burrell Ellis????

TJ

September 25th, 2009
2:54 pm

Roddy

September 25th, 2009
1:28 pm

If you suffered damages in the flood – start off by calling FEMA to register……………….

Call and register even if you didn’t get flooded.
After the Rev Jackson, Sharpton, John Lewis and Obama get a few more photo ops with shilieki, Antwion, Pedro, and Akwmad you’ll get a fist full of cash anyway.

Idiots

September 25th, 2009
3:00 pm

My god you people don’t understand sarcasm. JN and RB are masters of it.

Former Gwinnett Resident

September 25th, 2009
3:03 pm

It is a tragedy that people would even bring in party lines to this situation. What has happened is a tragedy and here is were our people of power (i.e Gov’t) should be there for the people. It is refreshing to see that FEMA has already begun to assist and has more gears in motion than Katrina. It is sad to hear that the governor did not cancel his trip and stay with his people.

To all that were affected, you are in my thoughts and prayers. To those who weren’t be thankful you were spared and help out those that were affected.

Former Gwinnett Resident..

Ameria Johnson

September 25th, 2009
3:06 pm

Do you all really think that the posters JN and RB were born with a silver spoon in their mouths? I doubt it. Most really rich people feel that it is their responsibility to help others. They are the people who give to and support non profits. What we have here is a failure to communicate to JN and RB that they are just a pay check or another rainy day from total disaster. Should we experience another rainy period, a tornado, a hurricane, or wild fires, it will be so interesting to see how JN and RB respond. Remember JN and RB, you don’t call FEMA, you just go right out there, fix your road, your house, get your food from the flooded grocery store and you just take care of your foolish selves.

nana

September 25th, 2009
3:07 pm

I think the WH has done a fair job in getting some of the folks who need help in a better position. Some have posted ridiculous statements about Repubs being hypocrites (big govt, etc) however these are not bail outs these are low interest loans that these folks will get, the key word being “loans”. I don’t understand why Gwinnett hasn’t been included already.

momof3ingwinnett

September 25th, 2009
3:07 pm

First of all my deepest sympathy to all of those families affected by the rain and floods in Georgia this last week. And, also my deepest sympathy to those who don’t know that this country was founded upon the basis of helping each other. Out of adversity springs the American Dream, which as quiet as it is kept applies to all people Democrats, and Republicans, blacks and whites. I appreciate the fact that our administration saw the need to come to the aid of people who were affected by an act of God that was simply out of their control. I venture to say that some of these same people who think that the victims of this Flood should help themselves gladly cashed their stimulus checks when they were given, took advantage of Cash for Cars, and take full advantage of all of the liberties given to citizens of this country. These victims deserve the help of their community at large, just as those who have received help before and will receive help after.

lakeman

September 25th, 2009
3:07 pm

I wonder if Biden, or any one else, has even looked 30 miles north, where the Corps of Engineers were releasing millions of gallons of water, DURING THE FLOOD. Corps Comment, “I’m not aware of any provision we have for shutting off the water”. Absolute Bafoons!

CC

September 25th, 2009
3:15 pm

The republican governor is in Panama? Ha! Ha! Ha! ..and these morons expect the president to drop everything that he is doing to visit them. Ha! Ha! Ha! What a bunch of hypocrites!

Our Governor is in Panama?

September 25th, 2009
3:17 pm

Wait…Georgia has experienced historic flooding that hasn’t happened in over 500 years and Sonny is in Panama? You’ve got to kidding. I guess I should stop praying for rain and pray for a better state government.

Juanita J

September 25th, 2009
3:18 pm

To: JN & RB……… The same judgement you have on others will come back to you. YOUR DAY IS COMING!!

Wynn

September 25th, 2009
3:20 pm

There are some very ignorant people in Ga.I feel sorry for you fools who can’t get past political party lines,race and such,and try to encourage and offer help to one another,during this trying time.

JM

September 25th, 2009
3:21 pm

The President wasn’t here in Georgia and sent Vice President Biden instead because President Obama is at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh … something involving many countries and something that has been planned for several months now (if not longer).

BushWacker

September 25th, 2009
3:21 pm

@ The Truth. AND?? What does this have to do with helping people in times like this?? You’re an IDIOT!!

nana

September 25th, 2009
3:22 pm

Purdue is doing his job, Cagle stepped in, kind of like Obama is doing his job, Biden stepped in. Ya get it???

JM

September 25th, 2009
3:22 pm

The Army Corp of Engineers has said that the water released only added a foot and a half to the water. The Chattahoochee would have flooded regardless of what they did.

JM

September 25th, 2009
3:24 pm

RB – most of the areas hit … Douglas, Cobb, Paulding and Carroll in particular I know are republican strongholds. Why shouldn’t they ask for help?? They didn’t ask for this to happen and even if some of them do have insurance it won’t pay for everything. Get over yourself.

JM

September 25th, 2009
3:26 pm

And JN … the only Bush left to run is Jed and his chances of winning were shot to hell by his dad and in particularly his brother. He would never win the nomination and for sure would never win a general election and as for Palin … don’t get me started on that clueless airhead.

BushWacker

September 25th, 2009
3:30 pm

The problem (one of many) with Repubs is that you have NO voice. Therefore you are forced to make ignorant comments like this! Is not your fault though, thank YOUR past administration!

OBM

September 25th, 2009
3:32 pm

Hey WOW,

Your Guvunah was on a trade mission to Panama to crete more jobs for Cobb County instead of just taking handouts from tax payers.

Larry

September 25th, 2009
3:53 pm

The Georgia National Guard didn’t show up because they are about to be deployed AGAIN to fight the bush wars.

Sonny’s sent one of his flunkies to pick-up the cash, since he’s against government handouts.

Cobb Commissioner whatz his name complained how long it took for someone to notice he was missing.

Tom Price was busy lobbying for his insurance company buddies.

And Neal is preparing his next show declaring the flood victims are too lazy to save themselves and should have been left to drown!

OBM

September 25th, 2009
3:54 pm

“Your Guvunah is on a trade mission to Panama”, trying to create Cobb County jobs!

Your Presadint didn’t show up because he had more press elsewhere.

“Where was the Ga National Guard, and why were they never deployed to assist at all”? Because they are deployed and assisiting the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is America bro, you can’t just keep everyone on the payroll just in case they are needed.

Georgia lip service at its best!

BJB

September 25th, 2009
4:15 pm

Instead of filling up comments with irrelevant political potshots, how about staying focused on the tragedy? Perdue asked for 17 counties to be recognized for a reason and we have only gotten 7 named. I’m in Gwinnett and we were hit very hard. I also know DeKalb was severely impacted. I’m not looking for a handout…I don’t need a handout. I paid my share of taxes last year to fund existing programs which were designed to help in this exact situation.

antonebraga

September 26th, 2009
2:46 pm

One of the most important factors in disaster preparedness/recovery–be informed:

Laissez-faire Not Fair
—-
When the dust settles, who will carry the mantle for disaster survivors?
This should help understanding:
What do you expect in case of an insured loss? Are You Disaster Ready? (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.). US President Obama affirms government’s laissez-faire policy with his telling response: http://www.disasterprepared.net/whitehouse.html