ATLANTA, GA – A $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help Lowndes County replace the McMillan Road bridge, which was severely damaged during late March-early April flooding in South Georgia.
The flooding overtopped the bridge and the force of water led to the bridge being damaged. FEMA's Public Assistance program will help pay for the replacement of the bridge. An estimate indicated it was more cost effective to replace the bridge than repair it.
"Getting public infrastructure back in working order is one of the most important things a community does after a disaster, but it also comes with a big price tag," said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May. "This funding will help Lowndes County recover the cost of replacing the bridge."
The heavy rain and flooding resulted in Governor Sonny Perdue declaring a state of emergency and requesting a presidential disaster declaration. President Obama granted the declaration covering 46 counties throughout Georgia, 45 of which were declared eligible for Public Assistance.
"Areas around the state continue to recover from several significant weather events from last year, and this federal assistance will certainly help Lowndes County begin work replacing the bridge," Governor Perdue said.
FEMA Public Assistance is one of several programs that may become available to a state after a presidential disaster declaration, funding a variety of response and recovery costs of state and local government as well as certain non-profit utilities. The grant for the McMillan Road bridge represents the 75 percent federal share of the total project cost of just over $4 million, with the state and the county sharing the remainder of the cost.
"I am extremely pleased that funding for this project has been awarded," said Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Chairman Ashley Paulk. "It has been a long process, many people have worked very hard to make this happen for our community. Governor Perdue has always been sensitive to the needs of not only Lowndes County, but to the needs of any Georgia county in the wake of disaster. I value his friendship and would like to publicly thank him all he does for our great state."
"After the devastation of the flooding in April, we are so pleased to finally have resolution, and we're especially grateful to FEMA and GEMA financial assistance during these trying economic times," added Vice Chairman Richard Lee.