Feds surveying Irma damage, aid expected

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Feds surveying Irma damage, aid expected

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Residents watch over a huge fallen tree that caused the loss of the power in the neighborhood on Old Norcross Road in Tucker following Tropical Storm Irma, which swept across the metro area last week. Between 400 and 500 tons of debris related to the storm was brought to the DeKalb County landfill last week in just the initial stages of the cleanup. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Tropical Storm Irma left cities and counties across Georgia with millions of dollars in damage and tons of debris to haul away.

This looks like a job for the federal government.

Teams of disaster experts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency fanned out across the state this week to survey the damage, the first step in unlocking disaster aid under President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration for the state. The aid will pay the lion’s share in cleaning up the mess made by Irma’s sustained wind and coastal flooding, but accepting it comes with some risks.

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s office recommended FEMA attempt to recoup $2 billion in Hurricane Katrina relief given to New Orleans following that 2005 disaster. The report determined the flooding of that city was the result of infrastructure that was “old and in poor condition.”

Beware, Georgia: The accountants are coming. Read more in this week’s AJC Watchdog column here.

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