WASHINGTON – All of the 14 members from Georgia currently in the U.S. House of Representative sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee requesting legislative action by the Dec. 7 government funding deadline to address recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Michael.

On Oct. 10, Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane and was the first major hurricane to directly impact the state since the 1890s. Recent projections conducted by the University of Georgia place the losses for Georgia’s agricultural industry caused by Hurricane Michael at around $2.5 billion.

This is the third consecutive year that Georgia’s farmers and communities have been hit by a hurricane.

“We write in support of legislative action to address recent disasters befalling our nation,” wrote the members. “Over the past month, Georgia has responded to and is now recovering from this devastating storm. We have identified agriculture and the impacted rural communities as critical areas in which the support of the federal government is essential to our recovery.”

Below is the text of the letter:

“We write in support of legislative action to address recent disasters befalling our nation. For instance, in October, Hurricane Michael came ashore as the third most intense Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, having hurricane force impacts in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, and continuing on to have impacts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

“As you know, Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a Category 3 Hurricane and was the first major hurricane to directly impact the state since the 1890s. Over the past month, Georgia has responded to and is now recovering from this devastating storm. We have identified agriculture and the impacted rural communities as critical areas in which the support of the federal government is essential to our recovery.

“Hurricane Michael was a catastrophic blow to Georgia’s number one industry – agriculture. According to the University of Georgia, losses exceed $2.5 billion. This absolute devastation of Hurricane Michael which caused widespread damage across South and Middle Georgia is compounded by the fact that for the third straight year, Georgia farmers took a significant hit from a hurricane. Even worse, due to Hurricane Michael, Georgia’s farmers went from having their best crop at harvest to no crop in a matter of hours. This storm hit farmers at their most vulnerable hour during harvest and it is critical that we assist these producers immediately to ensure there can be a crop in 2019. Impacts to Georgia’s agricultural industry have national consequences. Enclosed is a brief by the University of Georgia outlining the impact on Georgia’s agriculture from Hurricane Michael.

“Federal assistance for these recent disasters is essential to help our nation recover. We urge Congress to work with the administration to ensure disaster relief resources are made available prior to December 7, 2018. Thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you to secure these critical resources.”

It is signed by Reps. Austin Scott, Sanford D. Bishop, Earl L. ‘Buddy’ Carter, Dr. A. Drew Ferguson IV, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr., John Lewis, Karen Handel, Rob Woodall, Doug Collins, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, Rick W. Allen, David Scott and Tom Graves.

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