DeKalb County CEO declares state of emergency

The DeKalb County CEO declared a local state of emergency in the aftermath of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irma.

Michael Thurmond signed the declaration Tuesday after the storm caused widespread damage in DeKalb.

"We had hundreds, if not thousands, of trees down, power impacted.  Our schools are now closed," explained Thurmond.

The declaration enables the county to be eligible to receive additional state and federal resources to aid in the response and recovery.

“DeKalb County has taken the brunt of the hit of Irma in metro Atlanta,” Thurmond said. “Our ability to recover as soon as possible depends on the hard work of our dedicated employees and the resources we receive.”

Officials in DeKalb County said 54 percent of the homes in the county lost power. That equated to nearly 170,000 homes.  As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, officials reported more than 53,000 homes were still without power.

DeKalb County is working in partnership with Georgia Power to restore service to homes as soon as possible.

"I ask people to be patient, but I also want them to know that we are doing everything humanly possible to correct the issues that we face and we will, without any reservation I say this, we will rise to the challenge. We'll get the job done," Thurmond added. 

DeKalb County Schools said they would close for a fourth day on Thursday.

Additionally, more than 100 trees remain down across roads and in county rights of way. Officials advise residents to avoid all downed power lines.

DeKalb County crews have removed more than 38 tons of trees and debris since the storm hit.

Residents can report a downed tree in a road or county right-of-way by calling 404-294-2911.

Power outages should be reported to Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.

MORE: Irma's impact in Georgia