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Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 12:00pm

Fourteen Counties Declared Federal Disasters; Flood Threat Persists

Fourteen flood-ravaged counties in Georgia have been declared federal disaster areas, and the threat of additional flooding persists.

A flash flood watch is in effect for north and central Georgia until late Saturday night.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service predict more rain today with heavy rain possible. Streams and rivers in portions of the state are rising rapidly, and flood warnings have been issued.

The flooding earlier this week killed ten people in the region and caused at least a quarter of a billion dollars in property damage.

American Red Cross officials say they've provided shelter for over 1,200 people since the flooding began.

Residents of fourteen of the 17 flooded counties are eligible for federal disaster aid. The counties declared federal disaster areas are: Catoosa, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton, Carroll, Chattooga, Paulding, Stephens, Walker, Rockdale counties.

For assistance, call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA.

In addition, workers can apply for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to compensate for loss of income directly resulting from the flooding.

DUA provides benefits to self-employed business people, farmers, and others not eligible for Georgia’s regular unemployment insurance program.

To apply for DUA benefits, applicants need to provide their social security number. Verification of income may be required and applicants are urged to bring proof of earnings for the most recently completed tax year.

Examples of acceptable documents include: copies of their most recently completed income tax returns, copies of quarterly estimated income tax payment records, or similar documents.

Under certain circumstance, DUA benefits may also be available to individuals who become the breadwinner or major support of a household because the head of household has died as direct result of the disaster.

Potentially eligible workers should contact their nearest Georgia Department of Labor Career Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Workers may call the Georgia Department of Labor’s toll-free customer service line at (877) 709-8185 or visit to obtain career center information.


John Sepulvado, Carl Zornes