EMA: Lots of resources are helping local recovery

Published 9:47 am Friday, October 12, 2018

The Decatur County Emergency Management Agency is receiving help from numerous agencies as the Hurricane Michael relief effort begins in Southwest Georgia.

According to EMA Deputy Director Tonya Griffin, official wind speeds and rain measurements have not been collected yet. Power outages have limited Griffin’s communication with the National Weather Service.

But that has not limited EMA’s requests for reinforcements.

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Two chainsaw strike teams from the Georgia Forestry Commission and an incident management team from GEMA have been called and will work to clear roads.

“The primary goal is getting the state roads cleared,” said Griffin.

Blocked roads are hindering other agencies’ abilities to assist residents still trapped on their properties throughout Decatur County.

Griffin emphasized that roads should only be used for those driving to and from work. The large amount of traffic is hindering workers who are trying to quickly clear the roads.

Requests have also been made for backup from the Department of Corrections Strike Team. Fifty Georgia State Troopers have already been called in for assistance, and 12 Department of Community Supervision workers are in the process of arriving now.

Resources are coming, Griffin said, and they are working to help ensure Decatur County residents are safe, sheltered and fed.

A request for a generator has been placed for the Town of Brinson to restore function to its water system.

Another generator has been requested for Memorial Hospital and Manor. The kitchen is currently unable to run on its current generator to feed residents at the hospital and the manor. The Salvation Army is currently feeding them, said Griffin.

Salvation Army is also bringing in feeding trucks to help spread food to those who do not have any. Many of the larger stores that sell food are not currently open, although some convenience stores around the county have opened their doors.

A shelter at Jones-Wheat Elementary School on Shotwell Street is housing those displaced by Hurricane Michael.