ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Hurricane Michael ripped through South Georgia, starting as a powerful Category 3 storm, before eventually weakening into a tropical storm as it moved into South Carolina.
An 11-year-old girl died in Seminole County, the first fatality in the state because of the storm.
As of Thursday morning, nearly 200,000 Georgia Power customers across the state are without power, according to the outage map. That number is even higher once the local utility company outages are tallied. We are working to find an exact number.
There have been reports of trees down, on power lines and in homes. However, first responders are still assessing the damage, with many waiting until daybreak to begin the process.
Many counties have curfews in effect until Thursday evening, including Lee County, which is in effect until further notice.
Schools and business across SWGA are closed Thursday, and some have extended that closure to Friday.
Dougherty County is opening up the opportunity for individuals or groups to volunteer to assist with storm efforts.
Those interested can do so through the Community Organizations Active in Disaster.
Interested citizens can:
- Contact the emergency operations center at (229) 483-6226 or at (229) 483-6227 and ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator. The volunteer coordinator will take citizen information and forward to COAD for outreach on coordinating efforts with volunteers and volunteer group.
- Additionally, anyone with a 4-wheeler or ATV and would be willing to let officials use them, please call (229) 483-6226.
You can join the WALB Community Voices group on Facebook to share your photos or videos of damage and check in on the recovery process.