(ATLANTA) – The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) submitted final paperwork to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Thursday, requesting the official closure of Georgia’s catastrophic flooding event in 2009 (DR 1858).

“Long after a disaster is out of the news, our team is still working to get communities and individual families back on their feet,” said GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of GEMA/HS’ Disaster Recovery Division staff, local and state government agencies and our private sector and Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (VOAD) partners, we are able to close this chapter knowing these communities are better prepared for flooding.”

The request marks the end of nearly 11 years of work with Georgia citizens and the 24 impacted counties in recovering from the severe storms and flooding. Nearly 60 million dollars in assistance was provided to Georgia citizens and families, with an additional 80 million dollars provided to Georgia cities, counties and State agencies to help return communities to a sense of normalcy. 

The images of flooding across the state and metro Atlanta interstates under several feet of water were national news, and the prolonged recovery process is a testament to the complexity of managing disaster recovery involving both individual and public assistance dollars.

More than 2100 projects were separately funded across the 24 declared counties. This includes Hazard Mitigation projects that strengthen infrastructure and help prevent similar events from having the same severe impacts on communities.

“Over the course of this disaster, countless hours have been spent ensuring every dollar was allocated to maximize the benefit to communities and families,” said Stallings.

Official closure of DR 1858 is expected within the next several weeks.


As part of the Office of the Governor, GEMA/HS works with local, state and federal governments, in partnership with the private sector and faith-based community, to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. In addition, GEMA/HS employees are on 24-hour call statewide to assist local authorities when disaster strikes. GEMA/HS’s “Ready Georgia” campaign helps Georgians prepare for disasters. Visit www.gema.ga.gov  for more information.