ATLANTA — Hurricane Idalia severely damaged the city of Valdosta, and nearby counties as it roared through South Georgia last week.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot has learned that a disaster declaration could be coming for the area as soon as this week. FEMA is just waiting for an official report from the state.
Georgia U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff told Elliot on Monday that he’s already pushing the White House to sign it.
“The community in South Georgia has been hit pretty hard,” Ossoff said.
Ossoff and fellow Sen. Raphael Warnock toured some of the most heavily damaged parts of the city on Sunday.
Georgia Emergency Management is still tallying up the cost of the damage, which some estimate at $35 million — well above the federal threshold for a disaster declaration.
“FEMA and GEMA teams are together assessing the scope of the damage and my understanding is that the governor intends to submit that request to the White House in the days to come,” Ossoff said.
Gov. Brian Kemp and other state officials were in Valdosta on Friday touring the damage.
“We still have a lot of work to do, and we’re going to be here to get it done,” Kemp said.
At one point, 277,000 Georgia Power customers were without electricity. Monday, that number was less than 100.
Kemp said he will ask the White House for that disaster declaration.
“At which point it’ll be for the president. And Sen. Warnock and I have both conveyed to the White House our hope that when the governor makes the submission to the White House that it will be granted swiftly,” Ossoff said.
One person was killed when the hurricane blew through Georgia last week.
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