Thomas County's warning system never activated - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County's warning system never activated

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Residents of Metcaff and Cindy roads have pulled together to clean-up the massive damage left behind by Thursday mornings tornado. "We got in the storm room and heard nothing all night, but never dreamed that a mile up the road there would be this," said Samuel.

Terrance Samuel's home wasn't damaged, but he couldn't clean the minor debris left in his yard when his neighbors a few streets down experienced so much more damage. "I just basically brought my hands to offer."

 In the light of a new day Cody Owens now knows how truly fortunate he is to be alive. "I came into my leaving room and saw no ceiling or roof. And I could see trees flying around. I can't hear very well, but it was like a loud-pounding voo, voo, voo noise," said Owen.

The night of the storm several trees fell over his home. Luckily no one was hurt inside especially since there was no warning for him or the residents that were in the tornadoes path.

"There is a school right there. There should be a siren, I would imagine for things like this," said Owen. There are no sirens to help warn residents and Thomas County's Reverse-911 was never activated. "No phone call,  just tornado," said Owen.

The 9-1-1 Shift Supervisor at the time of the storm is now on administrative leave without pay as Thomas County investigates why the system paid for by tax dollars was never activated. "Why pay for something that isn't even going to be activated," said Samuel.

Residents gathering up debris only hope this gets straightened out. "It kind of makes you focus on what is really important in life," said Samuel,say they are only lucky to be alive.

Thomas County manager, Mike Stephenson is not releasing the name of the 9-1-1 Shift Supervisor that was working during the time of the storm. He would only say the investigation started Thursday morning and will last as long as it takes to find out why it was not activated.

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