Worth rains produce a state of emergency - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Worth rains produce a state of emergency

July 11, 2005

Sylvester- Dozens of people have been evacuated from their homes. At least 70 houses flooded overnight.

"It came to the second step, so we knew it was time to go then," says Lilly Holley. Holley is thankful she and her family evacuated their South Livingston Street mobile home. "I was just in shock and panic because I had never seen that much water. It's just a blessing that we got out because if we hadn't we probably wouldn't be here today. It's just a blessing," she said.

At least three feet of water flooded the entire structure. "I knew we were probably going to get wet, but I didn't now it was going to do that much damage," said Holley.

Holly's Aunt Francie Proctor lives next door. Her mobile home was also ravaged by flood water. Furniture was overturned, the floors soaked, and her bathroom a muddy mess. "Seventy houses have been effected. It could be slightly more or less. But I would say our number would be 70 right now," said City Councilman Larry Johnson.

City officials spent the day surveying the area and posting signs on doors warning residents not to go inside the unstable homes. "Total loss on most of them because the floor structure is gone, and that's some of your main part of your structure your floor," Johnson said.

Kimberly Collier's home is also in the 400 block South Livingston. She also had at least three feet of water inside her home. The water flowing through her home was so powerful it toppled over her floor model television and moved furniture from one side of the house to the other.

Even with all the disaster, residents are counting their blessings and remain faithful they will be able to regain their lives. "But I know we'll overcome it because God is good and he doesn't make no mistakes. I can't complain. I can't complain," said Lilly Holley.

State Representative Ed Rynders also toured the city today and assessed damage. City officials say they will ask the governor and president to declare Sylvester a disaster area.

A community outreach program is offering assistance to Sylvester flood victims. Family Vision's Outreach Inc. restocked their food bank this afternoon and is distributing food, clothing, and personal items to flood victims.

"A lot of people don't know that it hit Sylvester, the city at this magnitude. We do have a whole neighborhood of people without any place to stay and no food and no clothing," says Judy Hall of Family Visions Outreach, Inc.

Family Visions is located at 601 North Monroe Street in Sylvester. If you need assistance be sure to bring identification or a driver's license with you. The food bank will be open from 9 AM to 6 PM all week.

For more information about Family Visions Outreach call 229-347-0518, 229-777-7705, or 229-395-2832.

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