As storm rolls through south GA, emergency responders were prepared - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

As storm rolls through south GA, emergency responders were prepared

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February 6, 2008

Albany-  As the storm rolled through south Georgia we were pounded by heavy rain and high wind.

Wind gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour peeled the roof off this mobile home in Weslo Estates on Highway 19 south of Leesburg.

Homeowner Ronny Cohen wasn't home, but his dog was. Firefighters ripped the remains of the roof off, and helped Cohen put a tarp over the mobile home to protect his belongings while he moves out.

"It's a very strange unique situation. I've never seen anything like it. The wind literally tore the roof off a single wide mobile home, a metal roof, and I don't have so much as a limb down in the yard," said Interim Lee County Fire Chief James Howell.

In Terrell County, strong winds blew this tree across Highway 82 in Dawson, striking several power lines. Heavy rains also blanketed Leesburg. There were reports of downed trees and limbs in several counties including Crisp, Dougherty, and Dooly.

Many south Georgia communities had prepared for the severe weather before it arrived Wednesday afternoon. Emergency Management Directors in several communities spoke with representatives from the National Weather Service and were prepared to deal with the threat. In Lee County, dispatchers were briefed about the possible hazards and deputies were told to be ready around 1:00 p.m.

"We just try to get as much information as we can to watch where it's coming from and keep abreast of the counties just to the west of us because that's where everything is coming from," said Larry Hill, Lee County 911/EMA Director.

"The deputies, they know the secure spots in the county that are strategically located where they can kind of ride the storm out where they'll be safe and then they are also ready to respond even during the storm," said Lee County Chief Dennis Parker.

A tornado watch had been issued for all of south Georgia through two o'clock along with severe thunderstorm warnings.

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