ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County leaders are getting the green federal, and state emergency management agencies promised.
Back in 2017, a series of storms and tornados changed the lives of many people in the Good Life city.
People like Debbie and Steve Allen, who lived near Radium Springs.
“When it got quiet again, we had to push the door open, and shoved it open, things had fallen at that point and were blocking the door. And he pushed the door open and said he would go out first. Then he came back to the door, and he said, well I need to go ahead and warn you… we don’t have a roof. And I was like, what do you mean we don’t have a roof? Well, you could see sky,” said Debbie.
After the storm, the county was left to cover the costs in neighborhoods like the Allen's… and the total cost was astounding.
“The most expensive cost center is debris removal. And so you primarily focus on the need at hand, making sure you protect human life, safety, and property. You take care of that on the front end, and then you can move on to recovery,” said Michael McCoy, Dougherty County Administrator.
Now that the county has a 2.8 million-dollar check in hand, county leaders have a cushion to fall back on in the event that disaster strikes again.
“We’re ready. We were responsible for about 16 million dollars that was expended. We have recovered over 96 percent of our reimbursement, so we are well positioned to deal with whatever is next, and currently, that’s the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Even though the county seems to be recovering from the financial blow that the storm delivered, many families will never be able to truly move on from the devastation that the January storms left behind, but the community’s support is what keeps them going.
“You’re always hearing ‘Albany strong’ or ‘one Albany’ but I just don’t think people really understand that if they haven’t experienced that kind of disaster that when the going gets tough, we take care of each other,” said Debbie.