Dougherty Co. officials reflect six months after tornado

Dougherty Co. officials reflect six months after tornado
Some storm victims are still struggling (Source:WALB)
County officials reflect six months later (Source: WALB)
County officials reflect six months later (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Sirens, search teams and destruction. It was a day many in Dougherty County will not forget.

"Their homes are not habitable at all," County Commissioner John Hayes said. "They're still pretty traumatized by that January 22nd event."

Now, six months later, some have managed to rebuild, while others, hit a bit harder, are sticking around, but will not be returning to the place they once called home.

"Folks are committed to the community and are making their best effort to recover," Asst. County Administrator Michael McCoy said.

Since the storm, county officials have been helping them do that.

But programs will soon start to shift. The storm debris removal program has a curb pick up deadline of August 6, and then focus will shift to another urgent need.

"We want to do everything we can to retain as much of our population as we can, and we want to get ourselves back in the position where we can attract the population back to Dougherty County," Hayes said.

FEMA programs will help clean dangerous areas like four mobile home parks completely devastated.

Around 30 people who've applied to be bought out by the government, and relinquished of their properties, will be able to settle into their new homes.

"Home is where we all feel safe and when we remove that safety net things seem to be unsettled," Hayes said.

So, as the clock ticks and the healing process continues, survivors are still working daily to get their lives settled again.

The bid to clean up those Dougherty County mobile home parks will be held in about three weeks.

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