Money available for Hurricane Michael timber debris removal in Georgia

Georgia timberland owners could have some money coming to them for Hurricane Michael relief.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is taking applications for disaster relief funds available to help remove or manage debris from the storm.

Last November, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law emergency disaster relief for timberland owners, state agencies and local governments in the hardest hit areas.

The Georgia Forestry Commission created the Forest Debris Management Program to fund up to 80 percent of debris removal with a maximum payment limit that will be determined after the end of the first application period, according to a news release.

The Georgia Forestry Commission will be accepting applications from Georgia residents who are the legal owners of the property that was damaged during Hurricane Michael in early October.

Benefits are available for parcels of at least 10 acres of forest or a commercial orchard of any size.

You can apply for the money even if the work has been completed, the release stated.

To be eligible for the funds, participants must submit official cost receipts and a detailed map of where the debris management occurred.

Cost of clearing or managing the debris must be within reasonable limits for the task, which has an average cost of about $500 per acre, the release stated.

Approved applicants will be notified in writing beginning Feb. 25.

Liz Jarvis Fabian has reported public safety issues in Middle Georgia for over 36 years. The former storm chaser and news anchor for The Weather Channel has won numerous awards including McClatchy President’s Awards for breaking news team coverage. Fabian was named Georgia AP’s best beat reporter in 2017.