Governor Sonny Perdue has just finished a press conference regarding the continued flooding across North Georgia. His tone was incredibly somber as he relayed his observations of a tour he had just completed along with DOT Chairman Vance Smith and GEMA chief Charley English.
He has announced that I-575 is now open, but I-20 and I-285 remain closed, though he is hopeful to have the interstates open by this afternoon.
He was thankful that the rain forcast for last night did not materialize, but notes that flood waters have still hit or approached record levels in many areas. He indicated the hardest hit were both the Douglasville/Austell area, as well as the Hwy 92 @ Hwy 575 area, but that damage is widespread.
His over-riding request was for safety, and it did not appear to be lost of him that most of the 7 confirmed fatalities were small children, some who were ripped from their parents arms as they tried to fight off rising flood waters.
Lives cannot be replaced, but property must be cleaned up and/or repaired. Water service is out in part of Douglas County, and Carroll County is under a “boil water” advisory. The Governor has issued a “State Of Emergency” for 17 counties, and indicated there are more to come. He has also transmitted a request for a Presidential Declaration of Disaster Areas to President Obama.
But with the assistance that is available from various levels of Government, Perdue reminded us that this is also a situation where neighbors helping neighbors, and communities helping communities, will make the biggest difference. “The best of people comes out in times like this.”