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Chris Stallings

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ATLANTA – The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) submitted final paperwork to the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week, requesting the official closure of Georgia’s catastrophic flooding event in 2009.

“Long after a disaster is out of the news, our team is still working to get communities and individual families back on their feet,” GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings said in a news release. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of GEMA/HS’ Disaster Recovery Division staff, local and state government agencies and our private sector and Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters partners, we are able to close this chapter knowing these communities are better prepared for flooding.”

The request marks the end of nearly 11 years of work with Georgia citizens and the 24 impacted counties in recovering from the severe storms and flooding. Nearly 60 million dollars in assistance was provided to Georgia citizens and families, with an additional $80 million provided to Georgia cities, counties and state agencies to help return communities to a sense of normalcy.

The images of flooding across the state and metro Atlanta interstates under several feet of water were national news, and the prolonged recovery process is a testament to the complexity of managing disaster recovery involving both individual and public assistance dollars.

More than 2100 projects were separately funded across the 24 declared counties. This includes Hazard Mitigation projects that strengthen infrastructure and help prevent similar events from having the same severe impacts on communities.

“Over the course of this disaster, countless hours have been spent ensuring every dollar was allocated to maximize the benefit to communities and families,” Stallings said. Official closure of DR 1858 is expected within the next several weeks.

As part of the office of the governor, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency collaborates with local, state and federal governments in partnership with private sector.

Go to gema.georgia.gov/planprepare/ready-georgia for information on developing a custom emergency plan and ready kit.

This article originally ran on albanyherald.com.

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