Yolanda reflects on January storm coverage

Yolanda reflects on January storm coverage
WALB's Yolanda Amadeo interviews a representative from the National Weather Service (Source: WALB)

WALB - Severe weather can occur at any time. But what are the odds of two major storms devastating an area within weeks in the same month?

Only a day into the New Year, January 2, 2017, a squall line raced across SWGA with hurricane force winds at 85 mph.

As the fierce winds roared across SWGA thousands raced to their safe room, bathroom, closet or hallway.

The storms quickly passed leaving an unbelievable sight behind.

Thousands of trees were toppled onto homes, cars and buildings. Power lines, poles and trees crossed streets making them impassable.

Despite the widespread destruction, no injuries were reported or lives were lost.

Unfortunately, the next round of severe storms were strong long tracked tornadoes.

Once again, South Georgians ran for cover as seven tornadoes plowed through over a 2 day period January 21-22, 2017.

Sixteen lives were lost, dozen injured and neighborhoods completely wiped away. The devastation even worse than the first storms.

It was a significant severe weather outbreak with a record-breaking 41 tornadoes affecting much of central and southern Georgia.

Not only it is vital to know more about the dangers of severe weather, but you should know how and when to take protective action before severe weather strikes.

Now is the time to review your family preparedness plans. Practice your plans and be ready to take action when severe weather warrants.

The devastating storms lasted only minutes but left so much devastation behind.

Following each event, I toured neighborhoods talking to residents hit by each of the January events.

Survivors all had one thing in common, each got into their safe room, bathroom, closet or hallway and rode out the storm. It was the one room/place left intact. And despite homes damaged or destroyed, power outages, and lives uprooted, all were grateful and prayerful to be alive.

Weather hazards are a fact of life! Being alerted and responding to those threats are crucial.

Make sure you have multiple ways to be alerted immediately when watches and/or warnings are issued WALB's First Alert Weather App, WALB News 10, NOAA Weather Radio and/or Code Red.

A Watch and/or Warning must be heard to know when and where imminent weather conditions are possible.

Plan, practice, be alert and ready to SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. It can SAVE Your LIFE.

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