Gov. Nathan Deal outlined Georgia’s efforts to assist in Hurricane Harvey rescue and recovery operations in Texas. He also announced steps taken to help safeguard Georgians’ fuel supply during the aftermath of the hurricane.
“On behalf of all Georgians, Sandra and I continue to pray for the victims of Hurricane Harvey as they continue to suffer,” said Deal. "The devastating impact of this storm has yet to be fully realized, and we offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and communities affected by this disaster."
According to the Governor's office, Georgia has personnel on the ground in Texas and teams working to help coordinate response efforts and provide support. The multiagency initiative includes the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), the Georgia Department of Defense (GA DoD) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
"I stand ready to offer any further assistance or resources that may be needed as recovery operations continue," said Deal.
Concerned with the state's fuel supply, Deal says he has already taken steps to mitigate its impact on Georgia.
Earlier this week, Deal applied for, and received, a fuel waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This waiver will help ensure the state's fuel supply remains uninterrupted. Deal also issued an executive order waiving rules and regulations for truck drivers transporting motor fuel in Georgia, as well as for those carrying hurricane relief supplies.
"While recovery efforts continue and until normal operations resume, I urge the public to maintain regular consumption levels and travel schedules," said Deal.
The multi-pronged response includes the following:
- GEMA/HS is coordinating with state and local partners and has offered Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the support of 75 Georgia personnel to assist in search and rescue efforts. The state is poised to deploy 50 members of the Georgia Search and Rescue task force and 25 members of Georgia Department of Natural Resources swift water teams.
- GEMA/HS is also working with the Georgia Voluntary Organizations Assisting in Disaster (VOAD) and the Red Cross on the coordination of volunteers and donations.
- GA DoD’s team of domestic operations professionals has been in constant contact with the National Guard Bureau, FEMA, GEMA/HS, other supporting states and the State of Texas to assess the needs in Texas and be prepared to readily provide resources as needed and authorized by Gov. Deal and GEMA/HS.
- At Gov. Deal’s authorization, the Savannah-based 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard yesterday deployed a C-130 H3 cargo aircraft and 15 personnel to aid in the emergency response efforts for the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. The crew first flew into Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to pick up disaster recovery pallets before mobilizing to provide relief support to Texas and the Texas National Guard. There have been no new requests for additional personnel or equipment.
Fuel and trucking
- On Aug. 29, the EPA issued an emergency waiver through Sept. 15 for the metro Atlanta area.
- On Aug. 30, Gov. Deal issued an executive order waiving trucking requirements for the transport of motor fuel and hurricane supplies.
"As response and recovery efforts continue, the bravery and selflessness demonstrated by first responders and everyday citizens is nothing short of heroic," said Deal. "The kindness and courage of others acts shines light during the darkness faced by so many, and is a beacon of hope for all of us."