SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – More farmers are now eligible to apply for emergency disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Idalia.
Twenty-seven counties have been declared primary natural disaster areas along with 20 contiguous counties.
- Primary counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bulloch, Candler, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Evans, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pierce, Tattnall, Telfair, Thomas, Toombs, Ware, Wayne, Wheeler
- Contiguous counties: Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Colquitt, Dodge, Effingham, Emanuel, Glynn, Grady, Jenkins, Laurens, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Mitchell, Screven, Tift, Treutlen, Turner, Wilcox
This allows farmers, producers and other eligible agricultural operations to apply for relief through the Farm Service Agency.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners.
Federal funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in these counties.
“Hurricane Idalia caused significant damage to agricultural operations across South Central and Southeast Georgia, and I am glad to see that USDA has expanded their initial disaster declaration to include these additional counties,” said Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. “Our team at the Georgia Department of Agriculture will continue our work alongside federal, state, and local leaders to assist our communities as they rebuild and rebound stronger than before.”
The 27 counties are home to over 7,800 agricultural operations farming more than 2,300,000 acres with a farm-gate value of over $3,500,000,000, officials said.
Those who sustained losses from the Aug. 30 storm can begin applying for the assistance online at disasterassistance.gov, via phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or in the FEMA app.