Albany man still recovering two years after wind storms

Albany man still recovering two years after wind storms

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two years after straight line winds devastated our area, one Albany man’s family spent the day trying to recover some of his properties.

Its been a rough two years for this family, still dealing with recovery after the first round of storms from two years ago. The tornadoes, and then Hurricane Michael came in, and as they said, just made matters worse.

“This year’s destroyed completely my job. Right here in the hilltop, we own beautiful houses, its going to be a quarter million dollars, $300,000. The big tree was 250 ft long, come in the middle of the house,” said Steve Kalka, a victim of the January 2 storms.

Kalka barely finishes his sentences when he talks about the storm damage his properties endured.

“Worth $2 million and destroyed beautiful properties, just destroyed,” he said.

His family business was his main source of income, but that too was damaged in the past two years.

This is one of Steve Kalka's properties devastated by the storms over the past two years. (Source: WALB)
This is one of Steve Kalka's properties devastated by the storms over the past two years. (Source: WALB)

“The tornado take the USA restaurant equipment down, the ceiling and the roof, over a half million dollars,” Kalka explained.

His daughter moved her family to Albany to try and help.

She said that the price just keeps going up due to their lack of resources.

“We’re just now starting to repair some of his properties because we haven’t had anyone to help us,” said Evietha Vardikos. "We reached out to FEMA to help us but they did not help us because they assume since he has business he can afford to cover the expenses. It’s like anything that does come in goes into materials to fix.”

She said it’s putting a mental strain on her father as well.

“We tried to fix it and its difficult because I’m not like before. Before I was strong and I have knowledge, and I do a lot of work. Now I work and I feel down so its very difficult,” said Kalka.

Steve Kalka and his daughter Evietha Vardikos. (Source: WALB)
Steve Kalka and his daughter Evietha Vardikos. (Source: WALB)

He said he is remaining optimistic.

“All the times we have hope, I have hope I love my children, my children coming up gives me hope in my life,” he said.

Kalka said it’s important to him to get his properties back up and running, so that he can leave something behind for his grandchildren.

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