Worth Co. storm victim upset over nuisance ordinance

Worth Co. storm victim upset over nuisance ordinance
Michelle Andrews (Source: WALB)
Michelle Andrews (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - Some Worth County storm victims were furious about how county leaders are handling storm recovery efforts.

After receiving a nuisance letter from the Zoning Department about the storm damage to their home, Michelle Andrews and her husband said they feel like they were being treated like criminals.

The Andrews received the letter just weeks after their home was destroyed by the deadly tornadoes in January.

"It was offensive and I just don't think these ordinance that have been put in place fit the situation," said Michelle.

She was referring to the nuisance ordinance.

The ordinance states if you have damage to your home that is 50 percent or greater than what the tax accessor values the property, then you can't get building permits to repair the home.

"This is traumatizing," said Michelle.

Worth County leaders said the storm damage was greater than her home's property value.

Her insurance agent reached out to Worth County Commissioners about the nuisance letter.

"Nobody knew these ordinances were in place...they were telling him one story but nobody would ever come out and tell us anything," said Michelle.

She showed us a court document that stated "if the defendant fails to appear a warrant will issued for their arrest," explained Michelle.

In March, the Andrews were summoned to court, and the judge ruled her home must be demolished.

"We were not criminals but the paperwork, the documentation that was sent to us it made us sound like criminals," said Michelle.

She also said she agreed with most of the ordinance, but not all of it.

"They need to reach out and help and support the citizens rather than kicking them while they're down," remarked Michelle.

Andrews demolished her home last week.

She is asking Worth County commissioners to enforce the nuisance ordinance on a case-by-case basis, and suspend it during natural disasters.

WALB reached out to Worth County commissioners for a comment, but they did not return our calls.

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