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Dawson County in line for ice storm disaster relief
Federal reimbursement funds available
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Dawson County is eligible for thousands of dollars of disaster relief reimbursements for damage caused by the ice storms that downed an estimated 1,000 trees across the county in mid-February.

"The bid we got on the tree removal was just about $230,000," said Dawson County Emergency Management Director Billy Thurmond. "And then we had around $11,000 in car damage."

Dawson is among the 15 counties eligible for disaster relief after President Barrack Obama signed a federal declaration for Georgia due to the storm.

"All together, we've turned in about $170,000 in damages. Now that doesn't mean they'll pay all of that. It means there will be a discussion about that much," Thurmond said.

The totals include overtime for personnel in public works and emergency services, equipment and material for debris removal and damages caused when trees fell on county patrol cars.

Thurmond said the bulk of the cost has been the ongoing tree removal.

"We had a lot of tree damage, where debris had to be removed. We had a couple of patrol cars that were damaged," Thurmond said.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency held an applicant briefing April 23 at Dawson County Fire Station No. 2 that included EMA directors from Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin and Pickens counties, as well as a representation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A second meeting is planned in the next few weeks with FEMA, at which time the counties will begin to put together and submit project worksheets, "which will help determine how much money we'll be eligible for," Thurmond said.

Local officials estimated the damage from the Feb. 15-18 storm at $160,400, according to an assessment provided to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

The initial process involved moving trees from roads to allow citizen travel, followed by a second phase to clear debris from county right-of-ways.

In addition to three dump trucks and one frontend loader, crews used two chippers, two bobcats and nine personnel with chainsaws to chop limps and remove storm debris.

The county also rented a skid steer and an extra chipper to assist in the clean-up.

 

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