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Governor Perdue Requests Initial Disaster Assistance for Homeowners and Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Dennis

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue today requested disaster assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Cherokee, Cobb, Colquitt, Douglas and Worth counties due to the impact of Hurricane Dennis.  The Governor's action will enable eligible disaster victims and small businesses to receive low-interest loans to assist in repairs to property..

            “State and local emergency management assessment teams have reported that many homes and businesses have sustained significant damage.  We hope to make this assistance available as soon as possible,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “As the state works to provide disaster assistance, I encourage my fellow Georgians to pull together and help your friends and neighbors impacted by flooding and property damage.”

            If the Governor's request for an SBA disaster designation is approved, homeowners, renters and businesses could be eligible for low-interest loans.  An SBA disaster declaration will also enable the state's Individual Assistance (IA) program to go into effect, which may provide benefits, such as rental assistance for up to three months and funds for repairs, to applicants who do not meet the SBA criteria.  Unfortunately, Georgia did not meet minimum criteria to be considered for a federal disaster declaration.

            The Governor's Office is also working closely with the State Emergency Board and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to assess damage to Georgia agriculture due to rain and wind from Hurricane Dennis.  Governor Perdue's Agriculture Liaison Donnie Smith is participating in these assessments.  Once the assessments are complete, Governor Perdue will request assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture should Georgia meet the minimum criteria.  Crops that have seen the most significant damage include peaches, pecans, corn, hay, vegetables and tobacco.

            Officials with the Georgia Office of Homeland Security-Georgia Emergency Management Agency (OHS-GEMA) are continuing to monitor the impacts of Hurricane Dennis to anticipate further flooding potential associated with the system.  OHS-GEMA field coordinators are on-site assessing damage in the impacted counties and working with local officials to determine what assistance is needed.  In addition, OHS-GEMA is coordinating existing state programs and volunteer organizations, such as the American Red Cross, Georgia Baptist Association and Adventist Disaster Services.

For updated information on response activities, visit the OHS-GEMA Web site at .  For more information about SBA disaster assistance, visit .