ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As we have said and reported extensively, there are always so many great stories of generous people and neighbors willing to help one other when we have a disaster in South Georgia.
There are also questions we must ask, when we see that our elected leaders did not react as quickly as they should have.
One issue many have asked is why did it take three days for the city to announce shelters such as the Albany Civic Center was available and open?
After the storm hit Monday night, it was late Thursday afternoon, before we were told The Civic Center was available.
We got a copy of the city's emergency plan and though it lists possible shelters, they could not be used right away. That's because we learned that if a location has not been used as a shelter in the past year, they must be re-inspected.
We think this should have been taken care of ahead of the storms, and hope the city will it add it to their emergency plan.
The next question most often asked is why did it take three days to ask the Governor for help?
The Governor said while in Albany it was Thursday before he was asked for help:
A lot of people are wondering why it took so long for the state to come down here to start helping out. It was Thursday before we started seeing state help. Was there a reason why it took so long?
The governor said: "Well the state has to be asked. We we're not able to come, until local authorities did their assessment, and ask us to provide state assistance. Just as the federal government will not come until the state has done its assessment and request that they come in with federal assistance. And so, that's the reason."
It appears someone dropped the ball, and we want to know who. This should serve as another reminder why we should vote on a more efficient consolidated city and county government, now used in seven other Georgia cities.
Once our community gets through this, we can only hope city and county commissioners will launch an investigation into what happened after the storm, and find out who was responsible.
We promise to keep getting answers to your questions as we recover from the storm that hit us on January 2nd.
Keep praying for Albany.