President Donald Trump declared a federal state of emergency in Georgia, the White House said Thursday, as Hurricane Michael left a trail of destruction across the state.
The action allows Georgia to tap into a slate of federal resources, including money, debris removal and protective measures aimed at supplementing state and local efforts.
Specifically, Trump’s designation authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide equipment and resources to the region.
Trump’s action came after Gov. Deal declared a state of emergency covering 92 counties in central and southern Georgia, including Augusta, Macon, Savannah and Columbus. He later expanded the designation to include an additional 16 counties and activated 1,500 Georgia National Guard troops.
The latest: Michael moves out of Georgia leaving one dead
The president is expected to visit the state next week to survey damage from the storm.
On Wednesday, all 16 members of Georgia’s congressional delegation urged the president to expedite emergency resources to the state.
“Given the potential catastrophic impact that this hurricane may have on Georgia, the state and federal government must work together in order to help reduce the potential loss of life and destruction of property,” the 12 Republicans and four Democrats wrote in a letter to Trump.
Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm as it reached central Georgia early Thursday, but it still left a trail of destruction in its wake.
One 11-year-old girl has been declared dead in Southwest Georgia, and utility crews are working to restore power to more than 300,000 customers.
Michael reached Georgia yesterday as a Category 3 hurricane, the first storm of that strength to directly hit the state in more than a century, according to Channel 2 Action News.
Vice President Mike Pence had been scheduled to visit Atlanta on Thursday but cancelled his trip due to the storm.