Dougherty damage estimates at $2 billion, concert in the works - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty damage estimates at $2 billion, concert in the works

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

We are learning for the first time that damage estimates from the January storms in Dougherty County could be more than $2 billion.

That estimate is from Dougherty County's Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas, who has been working closely with leaders in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. seeking aid for the community.

Another source of help, and healing, after the storms will be coming from Nashville.

Some of the world's most famous country boys, hit songwriter Dallas Davidson and country music superstar Luke Bryan are committed to holding a benefit concert supporting the communities they grew up in.

"This wasn't just an Albany thing, this devastated Southwest Georgia," said Bo Henry, an Albany businessman, and musician.

Henry has been the conduit between Southwest Georgia and Nashville, and he spoke with Albany native Dallas Davidson and Leesburg native Luke Bryan's management Thursday.

"Some of their management looked at other places that have done stuff like this, like Blake Shelton did something for Oklahoma. It wasn't done right then, right after, it was done a little bit later," said Henry.

Luke Bryan's team sent a statement about the concert through Henry:

"They are still in the planning stages and looking at dates that will work for all of the artists. They are looking forward to supporting their community and there will be some announcements in the near future about the benefit concert for the January storms that devastated the Southwest Georgia area."

As for details about the show, Henry said it's up to the experts.

"Those kind of details are truly up to them. They do this every day. This is what they do for a living. Of course, I have given them options, but in the end, they will be making all of those decisions and I will just be a concert-goer and supporter like the rest of Albany," said Henry.

A concert for Albany and all of Southwest Georgia, a region that survived 15 tornadoes in the month of January with damage estimates now in the billions of dollars.

"But, it's not a quick fix. It takes the community to stand together for a long period of time, I think, and work together to get as close to where we were before (the storms)," said Henry. 

Music stars Phillip Phillips from Albany and Cole Swindell from Bronwood also offered up their talents in support of the community benefit concert.

The South Georgia stars are pledging to do the benefit concert, but right now, all of them have busy tour contracts to fulfill and they are working to find the best date.

Henry agreed that music has healing powers, and the concert will do much to raise people's spirits.

"Music a lot of times brings enjoyment to people and creates a fun environment for people. During a time like this, what's a better time than to bring something like that here?"

As soon as a date is announced, we will let you know.

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