Georgia county paying $1.66M in hurricane-related bills

Coastal Georgia’s largest county is paying $1.66 million in bills from a hurricane after state government didn’t respond to a request for help.

The Savannah Morning News reports that Chatham County commissioners on Friday approved the payment for expenses related to evacuation from Hurricane Dorian in September.

Gov. Brian Kemp ordered a mandatory evacuation for all coastal counties, leading Chatham County officials to charter buses to take people without reliable transportation to Augusta.

Dorian caused little damage in Georgia and no federal disaster declaration was issued, meaning no federal money is available to repay local governments for emergency expenses.

In October, Chatham County officials asked Kemp to repay the county from state money. Officials say they haven’t gotten a response yet. Commission Chairman Al Scott said the county can’t wait any longer to pay Dorian-related bills. The largest expenses are chartered buses and payments to Augusta’s government.