ALBANY, GA (WALB) - During the storms Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of people in Dougherty County left their homes to go to safer places.
Many went to community shelters.
"If it wasn't for this place, I wouldn't be safe right now," said 9-year-old Albany resident Kemori Allen.
After the power went out at his home in East Albany, Allen and his family were left in a blanket of darkness.
"We were scared, really scared," Allen said.
That's when they packed a bag and drove to Westover High School. Turned out, they weren't the only ones with that idea.
About 30 others were seeking shelter in the cafeteria.
"Now we see it's not a joke so we just going to follow our first thought and come to the nearest shelter," explained Albany resident Anqusherrie Roddy.
"We packed up our bags and got our necessities," resident Ricky Williams said.
"This is my third or fourth go round, and with all of the trees still in my area I rather be safe than sorry," said Stephanie Harris Jolly.
Jolly and her husband live in the Merry Acres, Lake Park area. Part of their home was destroyed by the January storms.
"We're still in the process of repairing our home," explained Jolly. "Even though we're back in it, we are just living on one side."
"I'm hoping that we have a home to go back to," Williams said.
Williams and his three kids knew their mobile home park in Pretoria Acres wasn't the safest place to be.
"I understand the severity of being in a mobile home while tornadoes and heavy storms come,' Williams explained.
As folks got comfy with pizza and hooked up to Wi-Fi, they are thankful the shelter was an option. Now, they just hope daylight doesn't bring destruction.
"Just pray and just hope nothing happens to anybody's family," said Roddy.
The shelter at Westover High and the other shelters in Dougherty County closed around 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
EMA officials said about 300 people used the shelters throughout the day.