Word that Forsyth was not among the 23 Georgia counties eligible for federal assistance following last month's heavy rains and flooding was not unexpected, officials said.
“We did not meet the minimum requirements for ... the level of damage and the amount of county infrastructure that was affected,” said Lorraine Morris, coordinator for the county's emergency management agency.
Morris said the agency received six official reports, none of which was considered major damage. Local officials then met with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives on Sept. 26.
“Forsyth County fared very well compared to the other counties around us," she said. "We were very fortunate.”
Morris said the county made the request for assistance after it appeared there was the potential for serious damage. As a result, Forsyth was included in the Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Sept. 22 executive order declaring 17 counties in a state of emergency.
Fifteen of the 17 counties have since received federal assistance.
“The emergency declaration is based on counties that have asked for state assistance,” said Bert Brantley, Perdue’s press secretary. “That’s what enables the state assets to go out and help local communities respond to emergencies like this.
“What happens then is FEMA comes in and assesses the actual damage.”
Buzz Weiss, spokesman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, said there were reports showing localized flooding and road closures in Forsyth, but there were no specific requests for help.
FEMA didn’t review damage here. “There was no need for any preliminary damage assessments,” he said.