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More counties getting help with Hurricane Irma relief

State and local government agencies along with some non-profit groups in four newly declared counties will be getting a helping hand after Hurricane Irma. / Photo: MGN Online, NOAA, NWS

State and local government agencies along with some non-profit groups in four newly declared counties will be getting a helping hand after Hurricane Irma.

President Trump previously approved Public Assistance funding for emergency work, including debris removal and emergency protective measures, in all 159 Georgia counties on Sept. 15, 2017, and approved permanent work, categories C through G, for 102 counties on Sept. 28, 2017. The latest amendment, issued Oct. 11, 2017, authorizes categories C through G for an additional four counties: Echols, Effingham, Lowndes and Tift.

The amendment provides federal reimbursement for eligible projects to repair or replace damaged infrastructure including: public facilities such as hospitals, schools, fire stations and police stations, public parks, roads and bridges, utilities and other critical infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Irma.

The Public Assistance Grant Program is a reimbursement program paid to state, tribal and local governments, and certain private nonprofits. Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA pays at least 75 percent of the cost of disaster-related expenses such as infrastructure repairs, overtime and debris removal. Typically, the remaining 25 percent is split between state and local governments at 12.5 percent each. Eligible private nonprofits are responsible for the full 25 percent. The program is administered by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS). Eligibility and project approval is determined by FEMA.

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