WTVY (Dothan): USDA Disaster Declaration in Five Alabama Counties
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Governor’s Office) — Governor Kay Ivey on Friday announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated five Alabama counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas. The primary counties include: Barbour, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike Counties.
On October 15, 2018, Governor Ivey requested a primary county disaster designation for several counties in Alabama, due to damage and losses caused by significant rainfall, wind and flooding, resulting from Hurricane Michael.
“I am very grateful to Secretary Purdue and USDA for responding quickly to our request to aid our farmers impacted by Hurricane Michael. Alabama’s agriculture industry is very important to our state as a whole, but even more importantly, it’s essential to the livelihood of our farmers,” Governor Ivey said. “Alabamians are quick to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need, and as governor, I will continue doing all I can to help our hardworking men and women find success.”
“We appreciate Governor Ivey’s quick response to this agricultural disaster and her commitment to help farmers recover,” Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said. “This declaration authorizes the use of existing USDA emergency programs and clears the way for additional disaster aid. Hurricane Michael spoiled hopes for a bumper cotton crop, flattened miles of fence and destroyed thousands of acres of timber. Our farmers are thankful for the help and encouragement they’ve received from the Trump administration, Alabama’s Congressional delegation and Governor Ivey, as well as countless neighbors and volunteers.”
The Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those contiguous to (bordering) such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency. The seven contiguous counties include: Bullock, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Montgomery and Russell Counties.
“USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is a friend to Alabama, and he understands that our farmers need help in the recovery and rebuilding efforts ahead,” Congresswoman Martha Roby said. “I appreciate his action to make available the proper resources and assistance for these hardworking men and women who have suffered tremendous loss to their livelihoods. We are committed to getting this done quickly and correctly.”
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.