Emergency crews important in Sunday storms - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Emergency crews important in Sunday storms

February 16, 2003

Mitchell County- 181 Wade Road used to be the mobile home where James and Eileen Harper were living while they built a home behind it. Now all that's left is friends and neighbors helping pick through the remains.

"Some of these people I know and some I don't. They've just come from everywhere," says James Harper.

But others came out to Wade Road as a part of their jobs.

"Weather can be beautiful, but this is the dark side of it, and I don't really enjoy having to come out and do damage assessments," admits Rick Lipscomb.

Lipscomb is a volunteer storm tracker for the National Weather Service and says he's seen damage like this many times over the past 10 years.

"I've seen bathtubs out in ditches that people crawled out of and I've had the opportunity to talk to each one. Its a very humbling experience to know how blessed you are when you see the devastation, but then you get to see the attitudes of these people that they're grateful to be alive and they're just happy," explains Lipscomb.

Other service personnel say they're just glad they are able to use their training to help those in need.

"You know that they're basically helpless when a storm like this, with this much power takes everything they've got. You just want to tell them that someone's there to help them," exclaims Red Cross volunteer, Ken Adams.

Whether its securing the area, tracking the storm, or offering food and shelter, the job of any service crew is a big one when disaster strikes.

Personnel from the National Weather Service, Mitchell County Sheriff's Department and EMS, volunteer fire departments, Georgia State Patrol, and the Red Cross responded to the storms.

Posted at 5:45 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com