Adel community comes together to help victims of an EF-2 tornado

The tornado hit Cook County on Sunday.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:59 PM EST
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ADEL, Ga. (WALB) - Ahead of Wednesday’s severe weather, some are still reeling from Sunday’s EF-2 tornado that touched down in Cook County.

Monday morning, residents who live on Kent Drive were devastated by property damage and no power. But now, the power is restored, and the area is a lot cleaner and safer, due to a lot of community effort and response.

After speaking with residents, they say they were without power for 24-36 hours. But they say several crews worked day in and day out to fix that for them.

“I’ve never seen a community come together like this. It’s like we’re family. The first responders were here within five minutes walking from door to door checking on everyone and were really grateful for that. Very thankful. We’re very blessed around here,” Katelyn Ellis, a resident of the Kent Thomas subdivision, said.

Katelyn Ellis lives in Kent Thomas Subdivision. She says her home didn't get much damage, and...
Katelyn Ellis lives in Kent Thomas Subdivision. She says her home didn't get much damage, and she is so thankful for that.(Source: WALB)

The Kent Thomas area looked nothing like it did on Monday. There were downed trees and poles, and crews scrambling to try and help residents pick up debris. But now, this is the calm after the storm.

“When we just heard like a big boom my husband and I were in the bed and he was like you have to get up. And by the time we were literally getting out of the bed, it was actually coming through the roof. So whenever I heard the big boom, I wasn’t expecting the larger tree in our yard to be down. But of course, as you can see, it’s down,” Sharonda Brown, a victim of the tornado, said.

Sharonda Brown's home and vehicles were affected by the tornado.
Sharonda Brown's home and vehicles were affected by the tornado.(Source: WALB)

The mayor of Adel says, last night they were able to restore power for about 99% of the Kent Thomas homes. He says currently the only home without power, was the home that probably had the most damage.

“Yesterday we had tremendous outpouring of support from local contractors and commercial operators in Adel of heavy equipment to come out and do the work for free just to help get these logs and trees off of people’s houses,” Buddy Duke, mayor of Adel, said.

Mayor Buddy Duke of Adel thanks the community for coming together to help residents in the...
Mayor Buddy Duke of Adel thanks the community for coming together to help residents in the community.(Source: WALB)

Duke says he is appreciative of the crews and first responders for responding so quickly. Especially since the area could possibly see bad weather again as soon as Wednesday.

“This morning, it was 32 degrees. That doesn’t make a good mix when the weathers cold and you don’t have any electricity. So people need to realize tonight, that tomorrow may be another day like we had on Sunday afternoon and really prepare for it,” Duke, says.

Pastor of Adel First Assembly Nick Kinsey spent his day making burgers and sausages for the volunteers, workers and residents in the Kent Thomas subdivision. He says the storm missed their church, but several members were impacted.

“We thought the least we could do is come out and cook a meal for them and make life a little bit easier on them. Maybe pitch in and help clean up some limbs and whatnot. So just doing what we can, like one of the guys said, that was coming by getting a hamburger. Adel takes care of their own. So we just want to pitch in and do our part,” Kinsey said.

Some say after seeing the damage done to their home, and others, they’re just happy people are coming together to pitch in and lift each other up.

“So very grateful of the ones that are working consistently trying to get us back to some form of normalcy. So that is something I very much want to stress. So grateful for our community,” Brown said.