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Friday, September 25, 2009 - 6:33am

VP Joe Biden Visits Flood Victims; 14 Counties Now Eligible for Federal Aid

Vice President Joe Biden visited Cobb County Friday to see first-hand the aftermath of this week's historic flooding.

He also announced that Stephens and Chattooga counties have been declared federal disaster areas, in addition to Carroll, Cobb, Paulding, Douglas and Cherokee counties.

Catoosa, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale and Walker counties were also added late in the afternoon after Mr. Biden toured the flood-ravaged areas.

That means now 14 counties qualify for aid via the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

While at the Cobb County Civic Center, the vice president spoke with several families who were flooded out of their homes. Biden let them know that their elected officials in Washington were hard at work.

"I just want you to know that sometimes when we were in the Congress we get a bad rap," said Mr. Biden, a former Senator, before lauding Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and Representative David Scott. The three Georgia elected officials have been working to secure FEMA funds, and according to Biden, they acted swiftly.

"They weren't waiting around. I have not seen three people that reacted more, and more with a heartfeld sense."

Mr. Biden also said that the federal government is taking the disaster seriously.

"The truth of the matter is, for someone who lost their home, it is Katrina... On a beautiful sunny day like today, the reality is sinking in," Mr. Biden said.

Many state leaders were on hand for the visit, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Vance Smith.

Smith says he's hopeful that FEMA funds are coming.

All photos by GPB's Carl Zornes.