Bainbridge hit hard by bad weather, property damaged across city

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2017


By Brandon O’Connor


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A suspected tornado ripped through West Bainbridge Monday night around 10 p.m. as a severe thunderstorm pounded the region. The majority of the damage occurred to structures at the Ag Pro John Deer shop and Jimmy’s Auto Sales on Dothan Road.

A camper that was parked in front of Ag Pro was also picked up by the storm and tossed into the ditch and partially onto Dothan Road. Bainbridge Public Safety Deputy Director Frank Green said that city workers had to use a dump truck to push the wrecked trailer out of the road.

“About 9:30, it came across the police scanner talking about the camper,” Billy Hall, the manager at Jimmy’s Auto Sales, said. “Then I heard it come across that it had hit Jimmy’s Auto Sales.”

The storm caused extensive damage to the aluminum buildings and cars on the lot. The main office building and shop survived the storm without damage.

“I am very much surprised that the main structures are all good,” Hall said. “Carolina Carports are gone, but easy to replace. Cars are damaged, but that is what insurance is for.”

The roof of one building was thrown into the pecan orchard next door and pieces of other structures were scattered throughout the lot. Hall said that between 25 and 30 cars were damaged and about six received enough damage to total them.

“Last night we got some cars that are critical moved,” Hall said. “We were here until about 2:30 [Tuesday] morning. We moved a bunch of trees and got it cleared out for Georgia Power to do what they need to do.”

At Ag Pro, the damage included two large garage doors being ripped off and damage to the back of the shop.

City of Bainbridge Public Services director Steve Winburn said that there were trees down and other damage in the areas of Dennard Street and Spring Creek Road among others, but that all roads had been cleared by Tuesday morning.

Most of the damage was caused by wind with only minimal flooding caused by the heavy rain.

“We had flooding in the streets, but no major flooding,” Green said. “It was the normal flooding we have when we have backups or excessive water.”

According to BPS, no injuries were reported as a result of the storm.

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