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Georgia firefighters respond to severe floods

A FEMA image showing flooded homes in central Georgia following the recent severe weather
A FEMA image showing flooded homes in central Georgia
Entire state remains under flash flood watch

IAFF members across the state of Georgia are responding to flooding that has taken the lives of at least seven citizens and flooded homes, interstates and roads.

IAFF 12th District Vice President Larry Osborne and Professional Fire Fighters of Georgia President Jon Dorman are reaching out to affiliates, especially those in the hard-hit metro-Atlanta area, to assess any potential membership needs.

"I know that at least one member from Fulton County Local 3920 and one from Cobb Local 2563 have experienced flooding in their homes, but they are still trying to determine the severity," says Dorman.

The skies are now mostly clear over Georgia, but the impact of the flooding remains. Almost the entire state continues to be under a flash flood watch, while a flash flood warning is in effect for numerous counties in central Georgia and east of Atlanta - almost to the South Carolina border.

IAFF members have been responding to hundreds of emergency calls from their communities' citizens. Most calls have been for evacuations and swift water rescue.

Schools in the Atlanta metro area are closed, and traffic has been backed up periodically on some roadways. This is despite warnings from emergency officials to stay off the streets after flooding closed parts of the four major interstates that run through Atlanta.

Latest weather reports say that severe thunderstorms could hit again and there is at least a 40 percent chance of rain through the rest of the week. "With the ground already saturated, it could get even worse, but we will have to wait and see," says Dorman.

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has declared states of emergency in 17 of Georgia's counties and is planning to ask President Obama to declare a federal emergency for the state.

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