Americus keeps watchful eye on the skies - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Americus keeps watchful eye on the skies

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -  People in Americus know more than most the damage twisters can do.

A deadly tornado hit there almost two years ago, so when severe weather is possible, they're on high alert.

Late Wednesday, the wind started to pick up, and ominous clouds rolled in.

"That same night on March 1st looked very similar to this," said Faith Pinnell, Pharmacist.

The March 2007 tornado that ripped through the medical district in Americus.

Faith Pinnell works at the Clinic Drug store across the street from where the old hospital once stood.

Since the tornado they're on their toes when bad weather approaches.

"I guess before the tornado you might just breeze pass the news flash and not take it seriously, but I certainly don't do that now," said Pinnell.

And she's not the only one.

The Sumter County sheriff monitors weather like this to ensure the county's swift response if something does happen.

"We looking at the weather, we just got through watching Yolanda, and the national weather service," said Sheriff Pete Smith, Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

He says even before the tornado bad weather in the past made people in Sumter County more aware of weather dangers.

"I think it goes back before that to the flood of 1994, they're more prepared," said Smith.

"The Lord has protected our business for 80 years and whether we have a building tomorrow or we don't we'll find a way to continue and meet the needs of people in Americus," said Pinnell.

But the hope is something that devastating doesn't happen in Americus again.

But with the weather they say you never know.

"It can change at the drop of a hat," said Smith.

The sheriff said during Tornado watches and any potential severe storms he meets with his staff to ensure all of them are ready to respond to a weather disaster.

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