On July 11th 2018, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) announced that $3.94 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster recovery would be granted to middle and southwest Georgia. FEMA has allocated $2.747 million in debris removal funding to the City of Albany and $1.192 million in debris removal funding to Macon-Bibb County.
2017 was a year of chaotic weather in Georgia. Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm ever recorded, resulted in mandatory evacuations for half a million people in the Savannah area, filling northern Georgia with evacuees. Winds from the hurricane toppled trees onto power lines, leaving more than 1 million Georgians without power. Georgia also recorded the most tornadoes in the nation in 2017. The Weather Channel’s Severe Weather Expert, Dr. Greg Forbes and the National Weather Service damage results show that 102 tornadoes touched down in Georgia through May 25th alone.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides federal assistance to government organizations and certain private nonprofit organizations following presidential disaster declarations. These $3.94 million was made possible since middle and southwest Georgia were issued emergency disaster declarations due to storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes Maria and Irma
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Bishop was able to include language in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that allowed for additional recovery funding through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR).
Congressman Bishop says, “Our communities are still recovering from the tremendous destruction that was caused by the storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes that struck the region in 2017. “Debris removal and rebuilding efforts remain ongoing. Fortunately, the FEMA grants announced today will provide much needed relief to the City of Albany and Macon-Bibb County. I thank FEMA for its diligent work on behalf of communities here and across the nation that have been struck by natural disaster.”
Congressman Bishop has also been an advocate for broadcasters in Georgia. The GAB is especially thankful for the help Congressman Bishop has been able to provide through his position on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee (FSGG). The FSGG has some jurisdiction over the FCC, which means when the FCC needs something funded, the FSGG has jurisdictional say in how this is handled. Bishop helped secure over 2 billion dollars to assist broadcast TV stations with last year’s “incentive auction.” Also known as “repacking”, this required over 1,000 broadcast TV stations across the country to change channels by 2020. Broadcasters across the state are thankful for Bishop’s efforts.