President Trump issues Federal Emergency Declaration for Sumter County after hurricane hits

President Trump issues Federal Emergency Declaration for Sumter County after hurricane hits

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -An hour and a half Southeast of Columbus, Sumter County has been declared a federal disaster area by President Donald Trump.

FEMA Public Assistance approved for the county on Wednesday.

One of the biggest problems in this area stems from fallen trees.

“I told mom, you’ve got a huge whole tree in your house, and it’s done a lot of damage,” said Kristin Raybon.

It’s been one week, and Raybon said things haven’t gotten easier.

A tree destroyed part of her mother’s home, a home that’s been a part of the family for decades.

An unexpected disaster, Raybon says her mother has no home insurance to cover the costs.

“This tree is at least a hundred years old. I’m 50, and it has been here since I was a little girl. They were that powerful to split that tree,” said Raybon.

This story is similar throughout the county. Crews are working overtime to remove trees from houses, driveways, roadways, and power lines.

“We’ve been non-stop since the storm hit, helping people get materials out to the road. These trees are huge!” said William Briscoe, owner of Skyline Tree Services.

Sumter County has officially been declared a federal disaster area by Trump following his visit to Georgia.

This means the county will have their repairs and restorations funded that were damaged or destroyed Hurricane Michael.

For people like Raybon, this news coming right on time for her mother. Overall, she said she’s just grateful things didn’t turn out worse.

“It’s hard to look at, but you can’t control mother nature. All you can do is try to clean it up and keep going. We’re all tired and wore out, but we will get over it, we will get over it," said Raybon, "We will get it fixed and she will keep on living. Keep on living in her home.”

For FEMA Assistance, visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.

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