Crews in Lowndes Co. continue debris clean up in wake of Hurricane Idalia

Crews in Lowndes County are restoring downed power lines in wake of Hurricane Idalia.
Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 6:32 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - It’s been 11 days since Hurricane Idalia brought Lowndes County to its knees.

The storm left thousands without power for days, with a massive cleanup project ahead of them. In less than two weeks, neighbors are seeing serious progress.

Crews have been restoring many downed power lines in Valdosta. Authorities said that on Sunday, they were able to get through half of the neighborhoods left to complete.

“When the hurricane came through this area, I believe it tested the structure of houses as well as the trees. It knocked down a lot of trees, and it was very random,” Michael Copeland, a Valdosta resident, said.

Copeland said several trees fell in his neighborhood after being uprooted in the storm.

“In my background, you can see the roots of one of the trees, and that’s what it did in this entire area uprooted a lot of trees. As far as my house, I would have to say I’m blessed because the trees didn’t hit the house,” Copeland said.

Debris cleanup has taken a while because there is so much of it. One neighbor said it kept people from cleaning up after the storm.

“We were stranded for even coming out the driveway. Many of our friend’s lines were down. We couldn’t even cross over. So that was the biggest challenge, just being able to get out to get something to eat, ice, or just some relief,” Thomas Miller, a Valdosta resident said.

Debris removal contractors were finally activated on Sunday, so progress has picked up. Miller has a message for people who go through a storm like this in the future.

“I would tell them just to hold on, be patient. I understand you are going through some trials right now, but if you have patience, the help will come. It just takes a little time to clean up, and you’ll be back to a normal life,” Miller said.