Day 9: Recovery Efforts underway in Cairo

Grady Co. State of Emergency

CAIRO, GA (WALB) - Grady County is still in a state of emergency, nine days after an EF-2 tornado hit parts of the Syrup City.

Recovery efforts in Cairo continue (Source: WALB)
Recovery efforts in Cairo continue (Source: WALB)

A few agencies are still in Cairo helping with recovery efforts.

Other agencies like The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army have already left Cairo.

However, you can still contact them directly if you need assistance.

Residents can also come to the message board on Broad Street for the latest information on disaster relief aid.

Since Grady County is in a state of emergency through Friday, G-DOT’s services will last until then.

Even after collecting more than 2,500 tons of storm debris they continue to revisit the same neighborhoods.

This is because people have been able to clear debris from their front yard, and are now working to remove debris from their backyard.

G-DOT crews are still working 12-hour shifts this week.

They hope by doing so they’ll be able to collect majority of the storm debris by Friday.

Several families have been displaced from their homes as a result of that tornado.

After seeing the damage first hand, city leaders are amazed that no one sustained life threatening injuries.

However, Grady County officials report 14 homes are completely destroyed.

One of those homes belongs to Wynett Holmes.

Wynett Holmes, Cairo resident (Source: WALB)
Wynett Holmes, Cairo resident (Source: WALB)

She told us the tornado lifted up her home, and when it dropped the house became unstable, and unsafe to live in.

Holmes said almost everything in her home is destroyed. She said this whole experience has been heartbreaking.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever to do. It comes right up there with burying one of your parents, as far as heartbreak, because there are so many things you can’t get back,” said Holmes.

Holmes said she and her husband have been living in a motel since the tornado and in a few weeks will transition into a rental home which is something many families have to do, or are trying to do.

Some families, like the Spilter’s, are fortunate enough to still be able to live in their home.

Now that most front yards are cleared, residents are working on clearing their backyards.

Pattie Spitler told us this recovery process has been relatively easy on her, because she and her family live next door to each other.

Patti Spitler, Cario resident (Source: WALB)
Patti Spitler, Cario resident (Source: WALB)

But, when the tornado came through she was terrified for her family's safety.

“I could have lost all of it as long as I have my kids, my mom, my family it’s all that matters. Things like this really hit home as to what matters in life,” said Spitler.

Currently, her mom's home isn't livable.

However next door, Spilter's home is.

She hopes within the next couple of days power can be restored to her mom’s home, and things can start getting back to normal.

County leaders ask that residents continue to remain patient during this recovery process.

And if you are able to, bring your storm debris to your curb because it’ll help with collecting storm debris.

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