Storm damage at Mitchell Middle School - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Storm damage at Mitchell Middle School

July 10, 2005

Mitchell County-- Camilla is no stranger to storms. This hurricane seems to be no different. High winds, possibly a twister caused damage to a Mitchell County School Sunday morning.

From the front of Mitchell County Middle School, the damaged roof gives a clue that something is different. "Quite a surprise," says Superintendent Beauford Hicks. If you go to the back, you'll see the extensive damage brought during the early morning hours. "We have quite a bit of damage as you can see," says Hicks.

Uprooted trees, remnants of the roof lie on the ground, drain pipes knocked from the walls and a blank space is left in a wall. It's bricks now lie on the ground. "We're still making an assessment of the damages that we have occurred," says Hicks. School officials are analyzing the damage after receiving a call from Camilla Police Sunday morning.

"I come over here and it looks like a tornado just hit and tore up a whole line of things here," says Lt. Wanda Wood of the Camilla Police Department. A whole line of things from outside to even the inside of the school. "The damage that you see in the hallway, I don't think we can put any buckets here," says Hicks.

Parts of the ceiling show extensive water damage and the floor is now covered in water which won't be an easy clean-up effort. "Not at all. Not at all," says Hicks. Officials hope it's not an early sign of what Hurricane Dennis has in store for the rest of the weekend.

"Everybody is on standby so if it gets any worse which I guess will be this evening and tomorrow," says Wood. They're prepared for the worst but also thankful. "Very thankful. We're blessed that there wasn't any additional damage," says Hicks.

They're also thankful that it's an empty school that took the hit.

"Not glad it's here but rather than people's houses and people getting killed like they have," says Wood.

It will take a few days to find out just how much damage was caused at the school. Law enforcement officials say if anybody hears noises or anything tornado-like, call 911 because someone could be hurt and not be able to get help.

Hurricane Dennis is now a Category Two storm, with top sustained winds of 105 miles-an-hour. Dennis made landfall between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach, Florida at 3:25 eastern standard time.

South Georgia is feeling the effects of the storm with heavy rian and high winds.  Heavy rain weighed down a tree limb on the 2300 block of Pearce Avenue, near Dougherty high school.  The limb crashed through the roof sending water into the home. Fire crews quickly responded, removing the limb and patching the roof to stop water from coming in, but the drywall is already soaked through.

On Cordele Road, a large limb fell into the roadway at the intersection of Pine Bluff.  Crews removed the limb and quickly raced away to another cleanup site.

High wind gusts on Oakridge rocked traffic signals, at times making it  difficult to see what color the lights were.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Decatur, Early, Lowndes, Miller, and Seminole Counties.

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