Search and rescue efforts continue after deadly storms

Search and rescue efforts continue after deadly storms
Jewel Crowe Road, Worth Co. (Source: Ben Barbee)
Jewel Crowe Road, Worth Co. (Source: Ben Barbee)
Jessie James Newsome and Bettie Lee Newsome were killed in Brooks County (Source: Family)
Jessie James Newsome and Bettie Lee Newsome were killed in Brooks County (Source: Family)
The overhang of a convenience store on Mock Road, Albany, was blown down (Source: WALB)
The overhang of a convenience store on Mock Road, Albany, was blown down (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Cook County Sheriff's Office held a press conference at 6 p.m. to give an update about the damage and loss of life after the storms.

In that press conference, they identified the seven people who lost their lives after a tornado tore through the area.

Alexis Livingston, 18, Jamie Cantrell Walters, 33, Mary Cantrell, 62, Adreian Mays, 38, Lawansa Perry, 41, Amanda Rowe, 41, and Joe Deskins, 36, all died in the storm.

Officials have identified two of the four victims that were found dead after a tornado swept through Albany.

Paul Freeman, 82, and Oscar Reyna, 39, both died in a mobile home park off of Holly Drive after the severe weather hit the area over the weekend.

The two were not in the same mobile home.

Original reports said there was a search for a missing 4-year-old, Dougherty County Police Captain Thomas Jackson later told WALB that parents reported a missing 2-year-old boy.

Officials said that parents reported their son missing at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday and told them they had not seen him since the storm hit their home in the Piney Woods Mobile Home Park on Sylvester Road.

DCP said that officers searched all night and were still searching through thick woods and storm damaged areas on Monday.

Officials said that there is still no sign of the 2-year-old and they will end their search at 5 p.m. but will continue to treat the case as a missing person..

Officials said Monday afternoon that the tornado was at least an EF-2 and could be upgraded from that.

They have more work to do, and they only visited the Newton area and Holly Drive.

The Berrien County Sheriff's Office confirmed at least two people died during the storm.

Russell Nix, 82, and his wife Ann Nix, 78, died when an oak tree fell on their home on Old Lois Road.

The couple well liked and well know in the Berrien County community. Their son is a baseball coach at Berrien High.

They were sleeping when the tree fell on their bedroom.

The two people who died in Brooks County during the severe weather that hit Southwest Georgia have been identified.

Officials confirmed that Jessie James Newsome and Bettie Lee Newsome were the two people killed in Brooks County.

Four of those deaths were in Dougherty County, where a tornado took lives and homes near Holly Drive.

Seven people were killed in Adel when a tornado destroyed a mobile home park, Sunshine Acres.

Phoebe Putney reported treating 45 storm-related patients between Phoebe Main and Phoebe North.

That brings the total number of injuries reported so far to at least 88.

Phoebe has also provided employees to help at a temporary clinic that has been set up at the New Birth Fellowship Christian Church, which is located at 2106 Radium Springs Road.

The clinic will be open Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will then evaluate the need throughout the rest of the week.

Injured patients from Adel & Tifton were transported to South Georgia Medical Center. Cook Medical Center, a campus of Tift Regional Medical Center in Adel, received 11 victims for treatment of minor lacerations and contusions. Seven patients were treated and later discharged.

Two patients were admitted to Cook Medical Center and remain under observation. One patient was transferred to Tift Regional Medical Center, and another patient has been transferred to South Georgia Medical Center.

Tift Regional Medical Center received three patients. One was treated and later discharged, while two were transferred to a Navicent Health in Macon.

Both Cook Medical Center and Tift Regional Medical Center are on standby and are accepting any patients who may need treatment.

At least three injuries were confirmed in Thomas County.

The Turner County EMA Director Mark Robinson has reported that 20 to 25 people have been hurt, bringing the total number of injuries reported so far to at least 43. A shelter will be opened at the Turner County Civic Center which is located at 354 Lamar Street.

National weather service update

The National Weather Service came to Albany following the deadly weekend of storms.

An EF-2 tornado can produce winds from 110-137 mph.

They say the tornado was as wide as a mile and may have started near the Dougherty and Baker County line then it moved northeast.

The weather service says there's no comparison between this weekend's storm damage and the damage from January 2nd.

"Very different. Primarily it was straight line winds two weeks ago and widespread trees down all over the city and this was a more focused path it was almost like a lawn mower riding across the trees," said Parks Camp of the NWS of Tallahassee.

They say it will take several days to nail down exactly how strong the storm was.

Recovery updates

Search efforts are still underway.

Anyone looking for information on missing people in Dougherty County can call 229-483-6201.

Concerned families in Cook County can contact the Adel First Assembly of God at 229-896-3935 as well as First Baptist Church of Adel at 229-561-1201.

Phoebe Putney had treated about 50 patients who were injured by the storm, and has a temporary medical clinic at the New Birth Fellowship Christian Church at 2106 Radium Springs Road.

This clinic will be open Monday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Tuesday 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Officials will continue to evaluate the medical need through the rest of the week.

Westover Animal Hospital is offering free boarding for up to three days and discounted rates after that for families displaced by the tornado.

Those looking to help can contact the Emergency Operations Center at 229-483-6228.

WALB is partnering with the Red Cross to assist with the recovery efforts in the community.

A micro-site will be set up tomorrow to collect supplies and donations.

Later this week, a phone bank will launch to collect monetary donations.

We'll let you know when the details are worked out.

Gov. Deal plans to visit the affected areas on Wednesday, January 25.

Sunday, Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas declared another local state of emergency for Dougherty County.

FEMA crews will be back assessing the damage less than three weeks after a severe storms caused widespread damage to the area.

Law enforcement had a road block at the corner of Patrol Drive and Radium Springs.

The only people allowed through so far are first responders and those who are here to help out with damages. Residents have also been given the green light, but with the stipulation that they cannot continue to come in and out.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said that many state routes remain impassable due to storm debris Sunday evening:

  • US Highway 82 was blocked by police at Acree, just inside Dougherty County
  • U.S. 280/State Route 30 at milepost (MP) 16 in Wilcox County
  • U.S. 19/State Route 3 at MP 5.98 in Dougherty County
  • U.S. 542/State Route 7 between MP 11 and 12 in Turner County
  • State Route 91 at the Dougherty/Baker County line
  • State Route 133 (Moultrie Road) at Mock Road, Dougherty County
  • Highway 107 in Turner County, in the area Rebecca - Waterloo Road area - water splashing up on the sides of the bridge at the Turner/Irwin line

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