Georgetown County to apply for FEMA reimbursement ice storm

  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014

State Emergency Management officials will soon take applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements from the 21 counties affected by Winter Storm Pax.

Georgetown County administrator Sel Hemingway estimates the county's expenses for debris cleanup at more than $150,000.

“There are several different groups out there working to help counties with extra costs from Winter Storm Pax,” said Sam Hodge, Georgetown County Emergency Services director.

“FEMA funds are only for public assistance, including municipalities, governments and cooperative utility companies that responded to the disaster.”

It will also include emergency responders, and county and city agencies that cleaned up debris after the storm.

He explained that these funds will not be for individual assistance, including home damage, because those are insurance issues, not FEMA issues.

“FEMA did not qualify this as an individual assistance type of disaster,” Hodge said.

For questions, contact Sam Hodge at 843-545-3273.

Forest damage

Meanwhile, timber losses in Georgetown County from the storm are estimated at $23 million, according to a Forest Disaster Declaration issued by The South Carolina Forestry Commission.

Immediate, direct timber losses from 1.5 million acres of state forests are estimated at more than $360 million.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gave this statement about forest damage:

“Our forests suffered a major hit by the recent winter storm and therefore so did a major component of our state's strong and growing manufacturing economy. To help ensure the long-term success of this vital industry and the South Carolinians who depend on it, it's important that we all work together to salvage fallen timber and help landowners replant as efficiently and quickly as possible.”

Forestry officials said that the state must focus on salvaging and utilizing damaged trees and getting these areas replanted quickly to retain economic return for landowners.

They stated that this will provide a dependable timber supply for manufacturing and the many jobs dependent on this supply chain in the future.

Landowners in Georgetown County are encouraged to contact a registered forester to assess their situation.

They can contact forester Ron Holt at 843-382-8761.

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