Dougherty Co. EMA director: 50 percent or more of population imp - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. EMA director: 50 percent or more of population impacted

Linemen work to restore power in Dougherty County. (Source: WALB) Linemen work to restore power in Dougherty County. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County EMA Director Ron Rowe. (Source: WALB) Dougherty County EMA Director Ron Rowe. (Source: WALB)
The search and rescue stage is expected to end Thursday. (Source: WALB) The search and rescue stage is expected to end Thursday. (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Dougherty County EMA Director Ron Rowe said Wednesday that the search and rescue phase was still going on in many parts of Dougherty County. 

Rowe said on Wednesday that there were 200 personnel, from several different entities, on the ground working to help with the search process. 

He said officials have broken down the damaged areas into three different groups in order to help operations run smoothly.

The tornado entered the county on the southwest side and traveled in a mile and a half path through the county to the northeast where it continued on to other counties. 

From the southwest corner to the Flint River is section A. That area was completely searched as of Wednesday morning.

The area that stretched from the Flint River to the Marine Corps Logistics base (Section B) and then on to the northeast corner of the county (Section C) was still being searched on Wednesday. 

Rowe said this tornado rolled through the part of the county where the majority of people live.

"In this path of the storm, it happened to hit the most populated area of the county and they are devastated. It's a lot of mobile homes and a lot of neighborhoods," said Rowe. 

From the Flint River to the Marine Corps Logistics base alone, the tornado wiped out 363 residential buildings.

He said between this past storm and the one on January second, 50 percent or more of Dougherty County's population was impacted.

"There's a lot of times when people will look at things that are 50 percent or better and call it total damage. Well I'm here to tell you that we are not totaled and we will make it. We are going to make it. We have a tremendous amount of assets on the ground and we will recover," said Rowe. 

A number of people complained to WALB that they were not being let back into their homes. 

Rowe said there are some roads that are closed and that is for the safety of the crews working and the people living there. 

He said if a law enforcement officer is not letting you into your home, there is a specific reason for that. 

"I understand that everyone wants to get back to their property as soon as possible to assess it and make sure they can start a recovery process for themselves but there are some places out there that are unsafe for the public to be in. As soon as we can allow the public in we will," said Rowe. 

As far as power restoration, 8,500 people reported to be without power after the storm. 

As of Wednesday afternoon,1,750 people were without power, but that number continues to decrease.

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