Radium Springs storm memorial proposed after deadly Jan. 22 tornado

Radium Springs storm memorial proposed after deadly Jan. 22 tornado
Radium Gardens was damaged during the January 22 tornado. (Source: WALB)
A slide from the presentation. (Source: WALB)
A slide from the presentation. (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - A memorial to mark the death and destruction caused by January's EF-3 tornado, as well as past natural disasters, is being discussed by Dougherty County leaders.

County commissioners got a look Monday at a sketch for the proposed storm memorial, at Radium Springs.

The designer, Ron Huffman who is the senior principal with Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions also developed Radium Springs Garden in the early 2000's and has a long history working in the Albany area.

Huffman, who volunteered his efforts for the sketch, kept the design simple, working off the ruins of the gazebo area.

He designed a sculpture, inspired by the "weird things" people witnessed during terrible wind and storm events, combined with the beauty of the Radium Gardens area.

"The white columns that are wrapped around the gazebo and so evident in the gardens, I decided to go with a big white column, and wrap it in steel," said Huffman.

The names of the five people who died will be etched in the steel.

An adjacent memorial plaza will have dates and information of past natural disasters in Dougherty County, including the floods of 1994 and 1998.

This is a proposed design, and county commissioners have not taken any action on it.

According to Huffman, the idea evolved out of discussions with a local committee working on the Dougherty County-City of Albany Long-Term Recovery and Resistance Plan.

There was an initial idea to have a tree planted for each tornado victim. That idea has grown to possibly have a sculpture and memorial area.

The cost estimate to renovate the extensive damage at Radium Gardens and create the sculpture and memorial markers is about $240,000 in total, the vast majority of that sum is for repairs to the area, money that could be raised from community donations.

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