ATLANTA - As residents continue to recover from widespread damage caused by Tropical Storm Irma, a local state of emergency has been declared in DeKalb and Fulton counties.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond’s declaration enables the county to be eligible to receive additional state and federal resources to aid in the response and recovery.
“DeKalb County has taken the brunt of the hit of Irma in metro Atlanta,” Thurmond said. “Our ability to recover as soon as possible depends on the hard work of our dedicated employees and the resources we receive.”
DeKalb County schools announced that they will remain closed on Thursday.
At the peak of the storm, more than 50 percent of the homes in DeKalb County were without power.
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According to a Thurmond’s office, DeKalb County is working in partnership with Georgia Power to restore service to homes as soon as possible.
As of 6 p.m., at least 180 trees were down and 80 roads blocked across the county.
Thurmond’s office is reminding residents that crews are removing trees from roads as quickly as possible. However, property owners are responsible for trees on their property.
Officials said crews have removed more than 38 tons of trees and debris since Irma moved through.
Schools in DeKalb County will be closed for a fourth day on Thursday as the district continues to deal with damage from the storm.
School superintendent Dr. Stephen Green showed Channel 2's Justin Wilfon some of the damage at one of his hardest-hit schools, Wadsworth Magnet School in Decatur.
It's one of more than 60 schools that lost power. That number was down to roughly 30 schools Thursday night.
"Still, that's a significant number of schools and they're spread across the county, without power," Green said.
The lack of electricity generates several concerns.
"We're always concerned about the food that needs to be stored at a certain temperature and the ability to keep that frozen or refrigerated," Green said.
The superintendent said it's likely the district can make up for lost time by lengthening some school days throughout the year. He said student may return to school Friday, but it's more likely they won't return until next week.
If you need to report a downed tree or county right-of-way, call 404-294-2911.
Power outages should be reported to Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
CLICK HERE to visit DeKalb County’s official website for the latest information on Irma recovery efforts.
On Wednesday, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners declared a local state of emergency to help deal with the dangerous conditions left behind by Irma.
Officials said the declaration directs Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency to activate the Emergency Operations Plan.
The declaration also allows the county to coordinate the response to the storm with authorities on the federal, state and local levels.
Fulton County residents that notice downed trees and other road blockages are asked to report them to Fulton County’s Public Works Department at 404-613-3108.
Residents that notice downed power lines are advised to avoid direct contact with them.
Law enforcement authorities are asking residents not to call their local police to report property damage.
Residents are advised to take pictures of their damage and contact their home insurance providers to allow them to respond.
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