September marks six months since March tornadoes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

September marks six months since March tornadoes

September 4, 2007

Americus--  It has now been six months since tornadoes swept through parts of South Georgia back on March 1st. Lives were taken in both Baker and Sumter Counties. Rebuilding and recovery continues today.  

It's still an uphill battle in Sumter County as cars pass through a road that's been through changes. It was only months ago that the Americus Winn-Dixie stood destroyed.  Now only a few pieces of glass remain on the ground from the tons of debris left from the March 1st tornado.

"It was something I'd never been in before," said Willie Johnson.

While pictures help you see it, Willie Johnson only needs to resort to his memory. "Very frightening, very frightening," said Johnson.

And he can still hear the frightening sounds as the tornado passed over his home and he hid in the bathtub. "The next minute, everything is rattling, even the building is rattling, even lifted the roof up over my house and set it back down," said Johnson.

Johnson's home now looks normal. But if you walk right next door, you see the reality of a tornado's impact. His neighbor's home is still being rebuilt and there's still a lot of work to do.

"It's not really a quick recovery because it's not recovered yet. You can still hear a lot of people still working on the buildings and houses now," said Johnson.

Johnson says it's those sounds and hard work that first pulled everyone together all over the county. The same happened on his street.

"Everybody pulled together real nice," said Johnson.

For him it's real nice to sit on his steps on Lorraine Avenue.  His home is in one piece. "That's right. That's right. Thank God I am," said Johnson.

He's still thankful six months after a devastating storm. In another six months, he hopes the view is even better.  

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=AmericusSixMonths