Despite the damage, Grady Countians have their lives - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Despite the damage, Grady Countians have their lives

February 18, 2008

Grady County -- As you travel down the side roads of northeastern Grady County, you move along a pathway of destruction where trees were toppled like dominos, homes were destroyed, and lives were turned upside down.

"There wasn't nothing I could think. It's like, Dang, I spent my whole life savings and I still ain't got nothing," said Anthony Charleston.

He just recently purchased a single wide trailer on Courtney Lane, but he never got a chance to call it home.

He says, "You work hard to get something and then something like this happens. Like I said I hadn't even moved in. I didn't have time to get insurance on it or anything. You know, you see stuff like this on the news, but you never think it will happen to you."

There were reports of tornado sightings between the towns of Capel and Akridge. Even if it wasn't a tornado, the damage to Betty Ponders mobile home was severe.

Larry Varnes lives right next door. He said, "Whenever bad weather came, she got into her bath tub."

The 65-year-old was heading for cover in the bath tub when her mobile home became air born and was thrown to the ground. Neighbors and rescue workers had to cut open a hole just get to her out.

"She seemed to be in good condition considering what she had been through," said Varnes who added that thanks to the rescue and the good Lord, her life was saved.

Perhaps amid the damage, some miracles. That bath tub Betty Ponders was running to when the storm hit - it was tossed 50 yards away - thankfully before she made it there.

And while property was damaged, Charleston said, "God do everything for a reason."

Thankfully, what wasn't taken, were lives.

A crew from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tallahassee will survey the area tomorrow.

They'll determine if it was in fact a tornado.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=GradyStorms/CF

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