Southern Georgia county recovers from Hurricane Michael
As Hurricane Michael swept through Georgia, massive wind gusts led to devastating damage in the state’s southern counties.
“It’s devastating,” Lee County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Agency Director David Forrester said. “We’ve got a long way ahead of us to recover. It’s terrible.”
Downed trees and power lines are nearly everywhere you look, and thousands in this county alone are without electricity or water Thursday night.
Onita Edwards is one of those impacted by the storm's rampage. She was in a shelter when the storm hit Tuesday night. When she got back to her mobile home, downed trees lined her property, and the roof of her home.
“There’s a lot of memories here,” Edwards said. “This was my mom’s, and she passed, and I was here awhile by myself, and then my son came on. But I’m OK, I’ve been OK until now. Just busy doing things I got to do to keep focused.”
Residents throughout Lee County were busy cleaning up tree branches and other debris Thursday.
Emergency crews were also working around the clock to field any search and rescue missions for people trapped in their homes by fallen trees.
Forrester said their crews saved four or five people from damaged homes.
He said most traffic lights in the county were also out Thursday, due to power outages.
Adding to the damage, workers repaired Lee County’s 911 center, after a radio tower fell through the roof Wednesday night.
This suspended emergency operations from the center, causing a nearby county to field Lee County’s 911 calls.
“It’s been a tough night, and a tough day, but we’ll get through it,” Forrester said.
“Just keep going,” Edwards said. “That’s what you do with something like this. Trust in the Lord, and keep going.”
Forrester said in the coming days and weeks, crews will start assessing exactly how many homes and businesses have been damaged by the storm.