South Georgia prepared to lend a hand with flooding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia prepared to lend a hand with flooding

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - People in Southwest Georgia received help from all over the state during the floods of 1994, 1998, and last spring.

Now it's our chance to return the favor. The calls for help are coming from northern counties and several agencies are on standby. Public Health has been churning out flooding tips and advice to counties to the north from reminders on how to treat a flooded well, to getting a tetanus shot, to how to clean up flood soaked dry wall.

Now they're preparing for the calls for volunteers needed to help at the many shelters being set up.

Flooding in areas of north Georgia continues to keep people out of their homes and Georgia's public health department has put out the call for help.

"They were asking for volunteers to cover shelters in the north Georgia areas that are experiencing flooding now," said Kitty Bishop, Southwest Georgia Public Health Director of Nursing.

A registered nurse, Kitty Bishop could end up working in one of the many shelters for displaced families.

"I'm one of the employees that's been furloughed so I volunteered my furlough day to use," said Bishop.

They're not the only ones lending a hand, GEMA's area coordinator Gary Rice is already working in Atlanta and emergency responders have been put on standby and could send personnel or equipment.

"Water rescues are the same, the environment may change so you have to adjust accordingly, but for the most part it's the knowledge and understanding of what the water will do and how you have to react to it," said Albany Fire Chief and EMA Director James Carswell.

While the local chapter of the American Red Cross has been strapped for supplies, they're checking their inventory and are prepared to roll up their sleeves.

"We have been in the process of inventorying all of our disaster supplies and our equipment," said Mari Wright, Southwest Georgia American Red Cross Executive Director.

Many of those agencies have received help from affected counties in the past and expect the demand may grow as waters recede and the clean up begins. Georgia Power's Albany Office sent five line workers yesterday to the Atlanta area. 

Tuesday more than three thousand people in north Georgia are without power due to the flooding.

The Southwest Georgia chapter of the American Red Cross held a big recruiting session over the weekend to train disaster response volunteers. Now some of those volunteers could be pressed into service sooner than they thought.


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