More than 250 volunteers showed up at Bagley Middle School on Tuesday to help the community recover from two tornadoes that ripped through Murray County on Easter Sunday. More than 150 homes were impacted by Sunday’s tornadoes in Murray County. Dewayne Bain, Director of Emergency Management for Murray County said 35 homes were completely wiped out. Seven people were killed and 23 hospitalized as a result of a severe storm pattern that crossed the southeast.
“The damage assessment of was higher than we expected,” he said.
Affected homes, those with any type of issues such as missing shingles or trees toppled, were 57, homes with minor damage were 53, homes with major damage were 23 and destroyed were 35. Power remained off for a little more than 800 residents, he said, based on numbers from North Georgia EMC. It did not include numbers from Georgia Power, but Bain said the area hit did not have many Georgia Power customers and the number wouldn’t be affected too much.
The overnight April 12 storms whipped through North Georgia and the Western Carolinas
leaving approximately 75,000 without power and seven deaths. Reports indicated that the area experienced winds of 60 mph and two tornadoes in Murray County. Crews worked all day on April 13 to clean up the damage. Northwest Georgia took the brunt of the storm and received a visit from Gov. Brian Kemp, who declared a statewide emergency.
“We came out of rescue mode into recovery this morning in full force,” he said.
He said they have started a Facebook page to help keep everyone informed.
Bain put out the word that volunteers should register at Bagley Middle School and the community did not hesitate.
Volunteers showed up at Bagley Middle School to register starting at 8 a.m. By Tuesday afternoon, the smell of barbeque from a food truck drifted through the air, mingling with the smell fo cut wood. The line to register was backed down a hallway, leading into the cafeteria where they registered and supplies were doled out. Cases of water were stacked on tables and several tables held food — sandwiches, fruit, and cupcakes..
“The outpouring has been unbelievable,” he said, adding that they had to start turning away
Gale Buckner, who is in charge of the volunteer efforts said there will be plenty of work for more than a week. The issue was safety.
“We’ve had a wonderful turnout, we just had too many people inside the most impacted area,” she said.
Buckner estimated more than 250 volunteers have come through the doors. “At least,” she emphasized.
She said volunteers will be needed the rest of the week and although they hope to have the area cleaned by Friday, the work won’t stop.
“We have so many without homes who need help with transportation, medication, medical expenses, funeral expenses,” she said.
One of their biggest needs at the moment is laundering services or volunteers.
“So many people have pulled their clothes out of the mud and they need to wash them,” she said.
What is needed
Gloves (leather and cloth)
Large garbage bags
Clothing donations can be made to Eton Baptist Church and Faith Worship Center, which are hosting clothes closets.
Toiletries can be donated to Rockbridge Church on Hwy. 76 and First Baptist Church of Chatsworth.
The Salvation Army is also helping with donations collections.
Buckner added donations can be brought to Bagley Middle School and they will pick up donated items.
Bain said they are also in the process of starting a fund for people to make monetary donations to in order to provide financial assistance to those impacted by the storms.