Many Southwest Georgians are still cleaning up debris from the morning storms and some are still without power. The violent weather that pounded the local area overnight toppled trees, ripped down power lines, and sent many scrambling for shelter. But emergency workers told us that given the power and scope of the storms, things could have been much worse.
Mother Nature's assault on Southwest Georgia began around one o'clock Tuesday morning. Rain and hail pelted streets, homes, and cars, while high winds walloped trees and road signs. "We had a number of public safety and public works organizations that had to be out most of the night for one call or another," said Jim Vaught, Deputy Director of the Albany-Dougherty EMA.
Downed power lines left many in the dark. "We had outages beginning at two this morning, had between five and six thousand people out," said Lori Farkas of Albany Water, Gas & Light. "We've got half those restored and we're working on getting the rest of our customers restored."
Two weather-related fatalities were reported in nearby Colquitt County and another in Irwin. Plus, a lightning strike is being blamed for a massive fire this morning in downtown Donalsonville.
FOX 31 viewers as far away as Fitzgerald sent us pictures of their storm damage but plenty of local residents had their own weather worries.
Doris Pratt Williams says she was sleeping when the winds uprooted an enormous tree and sent it crashing into her home. "Something like a boom," said Williams. "Like something had hit and we was thinking that something had fell, like a tree, but we didn't know it was on the house."
The family's 16-year-old grandson, Brandon, is actually staying with them for spring break. Believe it or not, he says this giant tree smashing through the roof of the room where he was sleeping wasn't enough to wake him up. "When we did the get the light on and everything and looked, the tree had fell all in the house, in the den, and I mean, insulation was everywhere, all over his face," said Williams.