Georgia governor surveys damage caused by Irma

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal speaks Thursday morning from Brunswick Golden Isles Airport after conducting an aerial survey of damage caused by Tropical Storm Irma / WGXA

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Georgia Governor Nathan Deal spent Thursday morning surveying damage caused by Tropical Storm Irma.

He conducted aerial surveys of damage in north and coastal Georgia.

Following the survey, he spoke to local media at the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport, where he said that all available resources have been put in place or requested in order to help Georgians recover from the storm.

Deal said that unfavorable tides caused high storm surge in the coastal areas of the state, which were under a mandatory evacuation order during the storm.

“It’s obvious that this is a catastrophic event here along the coast," he said.

Additionally, he said wind shear caused damage across the entire state, including areas of Atlanta.

He said those high winds took down trees and power lines throughout the state, which caused widespread power outages.

“it’s something that we all have to have patience," he said.

Georgia Power, the state's largest power company, said Tuesday that they expect power to be restored to 95 percent of customers affected by the storm by Saturday night.

Deal said that one of the biggest focuses at this point is debris removal. He said that typically, when a state requests federal assistance for debris removal, the federal government provides 75 percent of the funding and the remaining 25 percent is split between the state and local governments.

However, he said Thursday that the state will be covering the remaining 25 percent of the cost of debris removal for the six coastal Georgia counties hardest hit by the storm.

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