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FEMA workers in area

Liberty County residents will have to wait a bit longer to see whether federal individual assistance will help them cover costs associated with damages from Hurricane Matthew.

Matthew hit the county Oct. 7 as a strong category 2 storm. It impacted the area with significant wind gusts and driving rain over the course of several hours. In its wake it left a path of tangled electrical wires, downed trees, extensive power outages and damage to homes and properties.

Immediately following the storm President Barack Obama issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the most heavily affected coastal counties which included Liberty.

That declaration provided federal reimbursement grants to state and local government entities and nonprofit organizations to cover emergency protective measures and debris removal.

It did not provide for individual financial assistance to cover damages to homes, properties and businesses.

However residents of Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, McIntosh and Wayne County were all approved for FEMA individual assistance Tuesday morning.

Liberty County has yet to be approved, but Liberty County Emergency Management Director Mike Hodges said FEMA individual assistance may be forthcoming. He urged residents to be just a bit more patient.

“FEMA folks are here today…they are actually in our county,” he said. “They were in the city of Hinesville yesterday….and out in the county today…and they are trying to do everything possible to get this declaration.”

Once the process is completed, the local EMA will communicate whether individual assistance was approved or not.

Long County was not mentioned in the President’s major disaster declaration issued Oct. 8. It was however part of Governor Nathan Deal’s initial State of Emergency Declaration dated Oct. 5.

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