Gov. Deal on Irma damage in Georgia: 'It's everywhere'

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. - Tropical Storm Irma was so large, it did damage to both the Georgia coast and the north Georgia mountains.

Gov. Nathan Deal did a helicopter survey of both ends of the state Thursday, telling Channel 2’s Richard Elliot that he saw widespread damage in both places.

Deal started the day in Habersham County. In photos taken by his staff, the governor is seen surveying the damage around Cornelia, Clarkesville and Demorest.

He told Elliot it’s the state’s top priority to get people all over Georgia reconnected to power and each other.

“Being without power, being without cable, being without all of those things that we sometimes take for granted makes you feel very lonesome, makes you feel very isolated,” Deal said.

After surveying the northeast Georgia damage, Deal and his staff took off for the Georgia coast, landing in Brunswick to survey the damage there.


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He surveyed damage in Camden and Glynn counties. Deal said there are a lot of trees down there, too, but the main damage came from the storm surge.

“The trees are down in those areas especially in Camden County where the docks that provide transportation to the islands. Those docks were virtually destroyed completely,” Deal said.

Deal said FEMA will take on 75 percent of the cleanup costs with the state of Georgia picking up the rest.

Right now, they don’t know what those costs will be since the damage is so widespread, it’s making tallying up a dollar amount difficult.

Elliot asked the governor which part of the state looked worse off. He said, it all looks bad.

“It’s so widespread Richard, it is hard to say that there are certain areas that deserve more help,” Deal said.

Starting Friday, six FEMA teams will join Georgia Emergency Management and local officials in beginning full damage assessments along the coast.

Here is a list of Friday's school closings.

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