Remembering the Riegelwood storms 7 years later - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Remembering the Riegelwood storms 7 years later

Strong storms ripped apart entire communities on November 16, 2006. Strong storms ripped apart entire communities on November 16, 2006.
Chief Camlin says the mobile command center can treat up to 100 people. Chief Camlin says the mobile command center can treat up to 100 people.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – As thousands of families across the Midwest braced for severe weather Sunday, Fire Chief Steve Camlin sent a message to his crew with a reminder to reflect on their own natural disaster exactly seven years earlier.

Strong storms ripped through the Riegelwood community on November 16, 2006 leaving eight people dead and many more hurt. Chief Camlin, with Acme Delco Riegelwood Fire and Rescue, said that morning will remain in his mind for the rest of his life.

"It's just like it happened this morning," he said. "A lot of first responders will never lose that vision."

Training can prepare someone for the situation, but there is nothing to help process the sights and sounds of the destruction of a community, according to Camlin. He said first responders had to use whatever they could find.

"We were taking doors and using them for backboards," Camlin said. "Doing whatever we could to improvise and overcome."

Fire crews no longer have to improvise. Shortly after the storms, donations poured into the Riegelwood community. A mobile command center with the capability to page every emergency crew in Columbus County can treat up to 100 hurt people.

Camlin said the center's been used for major situations like the tornados in Bladen County several years ago, but he would prefer to never have a need for it at all.

"I hope we don't have to use it, because if we do, that's going to be a bad day for somebody," he said.

The flag outside the fire station hangs at half staff to commemorate the anniversary.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.

  • Inside WALB.comMore>>

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • The Latest: Irma weakens into a tropical depression

    The Latest: Irma weakens into a tropical depression

    Monday, September 11 2017 3:27 AM EDT2017-09-11 07:27:29 GMT
    Tuesday, September 12 2017 2:42 AM EDT2017-09-12 06:42:09 GMT
    Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.More >>
    Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.More >>
  • Input needed to revitalize Tifton's Matt Wilson area

    Input needed to revitalize Tifton's Matt Wilson area

    Thursday, September 21 2017 10:15 AM EDT2017-09-21 14:15:16 GMT
    Community leaders want to make some improvements to this area known as New Front (Source: WALB)Community leaders want to make some improvements to this area known as New Front (Source: WALB)

    After a successful revitalization of downtown Tifton, community leaders say they're ready to take on a new project. They're now going to focus on the Phillipsburg and Unionville neighborhood near Matt Wilson Elementary School.

    More >>

    After a successful revitalization of downtown Tifton, community leaders say they're ready to take on a new project. They're now going to focus on the Phillipsburg and Unionville neighborhood near Matt Wilson Elementary School.

    More >>
  • Farmer Fredo to host 'grow your own groceries' class

    Farmer Fredo to host 'grow your own groceries' class

    Thursday, September 21 2017 8:33 AM EDT2017-09-21 12:33:30 GMT
    Participants will learn how to grow their own groceries (Source: WALB)Participants will learn how to grow their own groceries (Source: WALB)

    As the new urban planning director for the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation, Fredando "Farmer Fredo" Jackson has made it his mission to make South Georgians better gardeners.

    More >>

    As the new urban planning director for the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation, Fredando "Farmer Fredo" Jackson has made it his mission to make South Georgians better gardeners.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly