South Georgia Again Meets Nature’s Crosshairs

As Theresa mentioned in Morning Reads, yesterday was another devastating day for parts of Central and South Georgia. While Georgia was spared the loss of life that occurred just across the state line in Alabama, property damage was spread across the southern half of the state, with the towns of Talbotton and Cairo taking a direct hit.

In response, Governor Kemp has issued a disaster declaration for Grady, Harris, and Talbot counties, which suffered the most damage. You can view the declaration here.

Georgia’s Senators Isakson and Perdue, meanwhile, continue to elevate the issue of relief from Hurricane Michael, on which Congress has yet to act. The Senators’ offices sent around the following quotes to emphasize the need for recovery funds for the region, which were again the subject of property loss yesterday.

ATLANTA – Georgia leaders, farmers and other elected officials are urging Congress to quickly pass the bipartisan disaster relief packageintroduced last week by U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga. President Trump, working with a bipartisan group of senators, has confirmed his support for disaster relief and encouraged Congress to pass legislation with funding for Georgia and other states that are recovering from recent hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp: “I thank Senator Isakson and Senator Perdue for their tireless work to secure aid for thousands of hardworking Georgians in dire need. Their leadership will provide farm families vital assistance as they work to rebuild and revive heavily impacted areas of our state. President Trump and Vice President Pence saw firsthand the generational damage Georgians and our neighbors endured at the hands of Hurricane Michael, and we are very grateful that they stood with us every step of the way. Now, it is time for Congress to act quickly, end the delays and gridlock, and fulfill their responsibility to the people of Georgia.”

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black: “For at least the 116th time, I call on all Members of the 116th Congress to abandon partisan gamesmanship, embrace American statesmanship and look deep into the eyes of the farm families and rural communities affected by Hurricane Michael.  I applaud our Georgia Congressional Delegation for their tireless efforts to advance a disaster package and the administration for their continued commitment to recovery for our communities. It is now time for the politics to be put aside so we can finish the drill of addressing disaster relief for our citizens.”

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long: “Last October, Hurricane Michael swept across our state at what could not have been a worse time for Georgia farmers. Many were days or weeks from harvest when the storm hit, and nearly all was lost in a matter of hours. Georgia Farm Bureau has been working for months with industry partners and our congressional delegation to secure federal assistance to help our farmer-members and rural Georgia recover from the storm. We applaud Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson for their efforts to keep this important conversation going by introducing and working to advance a disaster aid package. We’re also encouraged by President Trump’s continued commitment to help Georgia rebuild all that Hurricane Michael destroyed. It is long past time for Congress to act, though, as many farmers are having trouble securing operating loans for the 2019 crop year—pushing them closer and closer to the point of no return.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr: “Thank you Senators Perdue and Isakson – and our entire congressional delegation – for standing up for Georgians devastated by natural disasters! Agriculture is Georgia’s number one industry, and we must do all we can to help our friends and neighbors get back on their feet.”

Georgia Pecan Growers Association President Brent Brinkley: “Hurricane Michael leveled a path of destruction all across Georgia from the Southwest corner to North Carolina. Michael destroyed generational investments in timber and pecans as it worked its way directly across the pecan belt of Georgia. Myself and many of my grower friends are still cleaning and burning pecan trees that were planted by our fathers and grandfathers. It’s truly heartbreaking and will take more than a generation to recover. On behalf of Georgia Pecan Growers, Farmers and Foresters, I want to thank Senators Perdue and Isakson for continuing to push this much-overdue disaster relief bill. American farmers are proud and the last to look for welfare or a handout. However, this disaster is unprecedented and urgent federal assistance will mean the difference between a future in Agriculture or the end of generational farming.”

U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, R-Puerto Rico: “I commend the leadership of Senator Perdue as well as the unwavering commitment of Senators Rubio and Scott on behalf of vulnerable families in Puerto Rico. Their action to include an extension of $600 million for Puerto Rico’s nutritional assistance program demonstrates once again the unequivocal sense of responsibility that the Senate majority has to provide for the well-being of American citizens on the Island. Extending this program has been a top priority for me, as it will have a direct impact to close to 279,000 beneficiaries or 125,000 families. Senator Perdue’s bill puts my constituents one step closer to receiving the assistance they need to continue the long path towards recovery and I look forward to its swift passage.”

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