Gov. Deal visits hard-hit areas of the state in wake of ice storm

1:17 AM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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Gov. Nathan Deal surveys damage from his helicopter

ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal has delayed the opening of state government until 10 a.m. Friday -- plus he has granted agency heads the discretion to close some offices or to allow employees to telework.

In a release, the governor's office also says the state of emergency, which 91 counties affected by this week's ice storm has been under has been extended through Sunday night to assure that all necessary recourses have been brought to bear to clear roads and other storm-related obstacles.

Deal flew to Augusta Thursday afternoon to survey storm damage from that particularly hard-hit area of the state. At one point, about 80 percent of the city of Augusta found itself without power due to the storm's effects.

He took with him, in the state helicopter, the mayor of Augusta-Richmond County and the chairman of the Columbia County Commission. They showed him extensive damage to homes from fallen trees.

Augusta-area leaders hope the governor will be able to deliver state and federal disaster relief money quickly. The governor has already sent hundreds of Georgia National Guard troops and first responders to the Augusta area to help with the recovery.

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