Storm causes Brooks Co. veteran to lose his home

Veteran loses home to storm damage

BROOKS CO., GA (WALB) - A 79-year-old Vietnam Veteran and his daughter in Brooks County must now pick up and move after a tree fell on their home early Friday morning.

Richard Conklin and his daughter packed up what’s left of their belongings in the wake of losing their home. He walked us through what happened Friday morning.

“Tree fell down when a little wind blew," said Conklin.

Conklin and his daughter were sitting at their dining room table, minding their business, when a gust of wind knocked a rotten tree into their house.

“It was just a noise and I said, ‘Oh lord. No sense in running because you don’t know which way to run,'" explained Conklin.

Thankfully, Conklin said most of their treasured belonging are safe, but their home is a different story.

“Living room’s gone, bathroom’s gone, hallway’s gone and her bedroom’s completely gone," said Conklin.

But Conklin joked, saying he won’t let mother nature’s pruning get him down.

“Well, we can’t change anything, so there’s no sense in moping, moaning and carrying on," said Conklin.

Out of it all, Conklin has a message he wants to spread to others.

“Even if you’re indifferent, get your trees trimmed up good so they can withstand a storm. Don’t wait," said Conklin.

Conklin said he is thankful for the Brook County Fire Department who came and got the tree off his house.

“Thank God somebody’s able to do it. I’m getting kind of old," said Conklin.

Conklin said their landlord offered them another place to stay.

The Brooks County Fire Department echoed Conklin’s sentiment about the trees, suggesting you should get any rotten trees cut down before we have another storm.

In this case, the tree was rotten, which made it more susceptible to falling with the winds of the storm.

“Contact the landlord or either yourself, have them removed. A lot cheaper to have a tree removed versus having to fix your house or losing your property," said Jordan Smith, the Brooks County Fire chief.

Smith urges you to leave your house to go somewhere more stable during these types of storms if you live in a mobile home. He also said it’s important to pay attention to the warnings and watches.

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