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Governments in 8 Georgia counties to get disaster aid

May 6, 2021 GMT

NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) — President Joe Biden has declared a disaster and made aid available to governments and electric cooperatives in eight Georgia counties after storms on March 25 and March 26.

The current declaration does not include assistance to individuals, although Biden said Wednesday that a wider declaration could come later if damage assessments warrant.

Those storms included a tornado that hit the Newnan area, damaging more than 1,700 homes. About 70 homes were destroyed and more suffered major damage.

The Georgia Department of Insurance estimated the storm prompted more than $75 million in auto and home insurance claims. That doesn’t include commercial property damage.

One man died from a heart attack in Newnan while trying to walk to his daughter’s house. Emergency crews could not reach him because of debris blocking roadways.

Besides Coweta County, counties included are Fannin, Gilmer, Heard, Lumpkin, Pickens, Rabun and White.

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The disaster declaration means the federal government will pay for part of the cost of repairing state and local government buildings and roads, part of the cost of repairing electrical infrastructure owned by cooperatives and part of the costs for employees who responded to the disaster.

The federal government will also pay part of the cost for governments to reduce future hazards statewide.