Bainbridge community rallies together in time of need

Bainbridge Business and City Storm Impact

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Hurricane Michael has left most of the people who live in Bainbridge and Decatur County without a way to receive food, water, or power.

One local Bainbridge store owner is doing what he can to help his customers and those in need during this troubling time.

“This is my hometown and they are some hometown guys and they did a great job man," said Bainbridge resident Rod Haire. "Words can’t say enough.”

Haire had nothing but praises for what he calls ‘the unbelievable actions’ of those who work at The Meat House. And he’s not alone.

The Meat House was one of the only stores in the city open right after Hurricane Michael passed through the area, leaving a path of destruction behind.

“We’ve actually been the only business open since Friday," said Daniel Barnard, "Saturday and Sunday, we’ve been the only thing open in this town.”

Barnard said he knew they had to do something to help, so they got to work, and opened their doors to make sure people had access to food and water during this tragic time.

“Thank God that everything worked out good," said Barnard, "and we did have a backup generator that we got in on Wednesday, the day of the storm. We knew that something had to be open for this community.”

The Meat House opened back in February and has already made a huge impact on the community.

“Everything they got was fresh," said Haire. "They did all they could to get meat when nobody else could. Ice, goodness gracious, ice, water.”

Even giving out food to those who are working so hard to restore life to the city.

“The other day they were giving out food to the first responders and the linemen," said Haire. "Those guys didn’t rest until we were done and these guys didn’t rest until we were okay.”

“You know, this time is not about making money or taking advantage of people," said Barnard. "You know this things cost everybody in this town a lot of money and people have lost everything.”

Barnard said the real thanks goes to his employees for the work they put in after the storm.

As the city of Bainbridge continues its recovery efforts, many of the linemen stationed in the city have restored an estimated 81 percent of power to Georgia Power customers.

Decatur County Public Information Officer Van Eakin says the linemen have been working around the clock to bring 100 percent of the power back to the city.

Nearly 2,500 Georgia Power employees are stationed in Bainbrdige.

While they do their part in helping Bainbridge, many city members are showing their appreciation for their work.

“We’ve had some churches in the area step up," said Eakin. "We’ve had the Salvation Army and the Red Cross have been in here and we’ve been delivering food around the clock to these guys.”

Eakin said it’s nice to see the city come together to help one another in this time of need.

Bainbridge suffered a large hit from Hurricane Michael that wiped out almost all the power in the city.

Numerous agencies came in to assist with the damage and power outage in the city.

Commercial trucking, Department of Natural Resources, state probation and parole just to name a few.

Bainbridge Chief of Police Frank Green says the help they provided is the reason the city is starting to see life again.

“They all came to use and reported and offered assistance and we really needed it and it was a benefit to use,” said Green.

Hurricane Michael made landfall at Mexico Beach, Florida at a Category 4, leaving behind a path of destruction across the panhandle and Southwestern Georgia.

The City of Bainbridge is one of many in our area struggling to get back to normal.

When Hurricane Michael hit Bainbridge is was a Category 3 hurricane. The estimated 111 to 129 mile per hour wind whipped out almost 100-percent of the power in the city.

But now the city is starting to show signs of life again.

Even now, looking around the city you can still see the damage - hundreds of downed trees and downed power lines.

Green said the city has made tremendous progress from a week ago.

Now dozens of homes and businesses left in the dark only a few days ago have power again.

“Everything’s getting better," said Green. "Local and state government agencies have worked together to get us to get the community back on line. We’ve been very productive. Unfortunately there’s still people without power.”

Green doesn’t have an exact estimate for how many are still without power, but said crews are working around the clock to get the city back up and running.

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