Fla. gov. says state needs more water from Georgia

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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The governor has already asked for federal disaster assistance to aid those in the seafood industry, but three weeks after he sent in the request to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the state has yet to get a response.

Scott called the lack of a response so far "disappointing." Agency spokesman Ciaran Clayton said the federal government is still conducting a "preliminary assessment."

Bruce Millender, who runs Seaquest Seafood, said the availability of oysters was the worst he had seen since back in the mid-'80s when hurricanes hit the area and wiped out oyster beds.

Kim Bodine, executive director of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board, said that there has been more than $100,000 worth of emergency assistance requested from area residents struggling to pay rent and utility bills. On Wednesday, a truck with 42,000 pounds of food arrived.

Scott, however, said one long-term solution is for Florida to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release additional water from Lake Lanier, a federal reservoir in Georgia that is a major supply of drinking water for the metro Atlanta area.

Scott said he talked to federal officials and was told they have no plans to increase water flowing south. He said that the state may need to turn to Congress for help.

"It's going to be incumbent on all of us to call on the Corps of Engineers to do the right thing and make sure we get more water flow here," Scott said.

Florida has battled for years over the amount of water coming downstream from Georgia. But this summer the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in the latest round of litigation which left stand a ruling favorable to metro Atlanta.

The Chattahoochee flows south from Atlanta, forming part of the border between Alabama and Georgia. It merges with the Flint River at the Florida state line and becomes the Apalachicola River, which cuts south across the Florida Panhandle and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

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