ATLANTA (AP) — An additional 25 counties in Georgia are now eligible for federal funding to help with cleanup after Hurricane Idalia, state officials announced.
Governments and electric cooperatives in the counties will be eligible for federal aid to pay for debris cleanup and the cost of emergency workers, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said in a statement over the weekend.
The storm made landfall on Aug. 30 with 125 mph (201 kph) winds in Florida’s remote Big Bend region before moving north into Georgia.
Only three counties have been declared eligible for assistance to individuals: Cook, Glynn and Lowndes.
Lowndes County, home to the city of Valdosta, experienced the worst damage, with estimates showing 80 homes destroyed and 835 homes sustaining major damage as winds reached nearly 70 mph (113 kph).
One man in Valdosta died when a tree fell on him as he tried to clear another tree from a road, sheriff’s deputies said.
The latest approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency brings the number of counties now eligible for assistance to 28. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp requested aid for 30.
In Florida, which had three Idalia-related deaths, President Joe Biden initially approved seven counties for assistance. He's now added six more.
Kemp estimated that Idalia caused at least $41 million in damage to public infrastructure in Georgia, well above the $19 million threshold required statewide for a disaster declaration.
Counties added to the list for public assistance are Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bullock, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Echols, Emanuel, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Lanier, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Thomas, Tift, Ware and Wayne.