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Senators, Biden tour flood-ravaged areas
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., joined Vice President Joe Biden on Friday to tour areas in north Georgia and metro Atlanta damaged by severe weather and flooding last week and urged the administration to expand the number of counties eligible for federal aid.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate also joined the senators and the vice president.

“It was very important for the administration to see firsthand the destruction that has taken place, and I hope it helps them understand the urgency of getting help to all of Georgia’s communities affected by these devastating storms and floods,” Isakson said.

Said Chambliss: “There are several areas that need immediate assistance, and I’m confident their visit will help expand the disaster declaration.”
On Sept. 22, Gov. Sonny Perdue requested a major disaster declaration from President Obama to assist the areas affected by severe weather and flooding that began Sept. 18. A federal disaster declaration would make the state eligible for federal funding for emergency response measures as well as aid for losses.

President Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for the state, triggering the release of federal funds to help individuals recover. Specifically, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, Paulding, Stephens and Walker counties have been designated for individual assistance, and all counties are eligible to apply for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.