Still a road to recovery in Sylvester - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Still a road to recovery in Sylvester

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July 10, 2006

Sylvester-- It's been one year since Hurricane Dennis brought an unwelcome surprise to Worth County. More than 100 homes were severely damaged when flood waters covered yards and filled living rooms and kitchens. Recovery is still a work in progress but they're getting help from a network of faith and prayers.    

Water and devastation.  It's an anniversary that doesn't bring about the best memories in Worth County. "It was a devastating night in our community," says Mayor Bill Yearta.

Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta finds it hard to believe that it's already been a year since flood waters changed people's homes and outlooks. "There are still families trying to get back into their houses as we speak," says Yearta. But slowly but surely, things are beginning to change. 

This was one Sylvester woman's home months ago, broken windows and a doorway to an unlivable home. "Oh, it was terrible," says Reverend Albert Clinton. Now, terrible is transforming into recovery.  Reverend Albert Clinton is part of the Open Door Recovery Network.

"I'll show you what we've done inside," says Clinton.

Through donations, the group of volunteers have gutted homes, replaced sheetrook and floors and even replaced wiring. "In about another three weeks, this family will be able to be back in their house," says Clinton. But the road to recovery hasn't been easy.  Time has flown by and volunteers have been limited but piles of old debris from a year ago serve as proof that it's working.

"With the work that's being done, I think it's giving them a better outlook and uplifts the spirit," says Clinton. And soon many families will finally return home.

The city has done drainage work to help alleviate drainage problems in the area. Sylvester also just received a community development block grant for $500,000 to help with another storm drainage project. They hope to begin that project soon.  

Many other area churches and organizations have stepped in to help with the recovery effort. The Open Door Recovery Network is still in desperate need of volunteers and donations.  If you would like to help, call 229-894-0658. 

Donations can also be sent to the Open Door Recovery Network, in care of Pinson United Methodist Church, 109 East Pope Street, Sylvester, GA.

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