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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 20, 1998


Today, I spoke with Governor Zell Miller to express my concern over the tornado that hit Georgia early this morning. Hillary and I are deeply saddened to learn of the individuals who lost their lives in this tragic disaster.

I have asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to add the counties of Hall, White, Habersham, Dawson, and Rabun as disaster areas to the existing disaster declaration I issued for Georgia on March 11th. This action will allow victims of this tragedy to apply for federal funds. I have also asked FEMA Director James Lee Witt to lead a federal team to Georgia to inspect the damage and report back to me.

Labor Secretary Alexis Herman has approved a grant of up to $3 million to assist workers who lost jobs. The money will help to create temporary jobs to assist in clean-up, repair and restoration efforts. In addition, FEMA has begun working on a long-term recovery plan for Georgia.

I want to assure the people of Georgia that this Administration is committed to ensuring a speedy recovery from this tornado. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this extraordinary natural disaster.