DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Storm victims are being encouraged to attend a meeting Saturday morning because they might be forced to make expensive changes in their homes after the storm.
Commissioners warn that county regulations could stop many storm damaged homes from being repaired or rebuilt where they are.
January's storms have left a devastating imprint on South Georgia.
In the Radium Spring area, that could mean the uprooting of many families.
Houses that sustained more half its worth in damages or reside in high-risk flood areas will either have to be raised to county standards, or require abandonment.
Building permits will not be given to owners in homes that sit too low according to county regulations.
"The question becomes who wants to do that, how many will want to remain in that area," asked County Commissioner John Hayes. "We hope all of them will, but that is the challenge before us."
Representatives from FEMA, the Small Business Administration and city and county officials are holding a meeting Saturday morning at the Law Enforcement center in downtown Albany.
Hayes hopes it will clear the air for folk with questions.
"We hope that the process is fluid," said Hayes. "Right now we want to make things as simple as we can for our citizens who are already under tremendous stress just from the event itself."
The county requires homes to be three feet above the baseline.
There's no number on how many homes don't meet the standards, but it could be in the hundreds.
"It's certainly more than we'd like. We'd like to know that there aren't any at all, but there will be a substantial number of folk who will fit into that category from the initial indications."
The county recommends anyone who could potentially be affected to attend Saturday's meeting.
The meeting will be at the law enforcement center in downtown Albany at 10 a.m.