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.
Easter is coming upon us in America at an interesting time this year. Of course, no explanation is necessary for anyone to know why. It is hard to find some joy and celebration with family this year, especially if they are sheltering in a home separate from you, if they are older, or if they may have been sick recently and at risk.
But I have something very strange to say to people this Easter Holiday. And bear with me as I explain what I mean to both those who are religious, and those who are not. It is hard and there is great worry and fear in this time. And while each person individually has different things they are dealing with, I speak generally to humanity as a whole.
As a people, some have handled the issue quite well, and there is a lot of inspiration in this world right now. So, to those who are just at home avoiding the virus and dealing with being couped up right now, “Suffer well.”
I understand some are dealing with death or severe sickness, and that is something different. But to the rest of us dealing with the shelter order, there is hard times for reasons.
If you lived in a world that never stormed, would you get tired of the sun? Would that matter at all when you start thinking that you couldn’t grow food, the land would dry up? Animals couldn’t live. It’s a part of the cycle.
For an axe to be sharp, it must have the stone to grind against. For one to build muscle, they must work the muscle and stress that muscle.
Speaking Religiously, countless ministers have spoken about God using the hard times to help you grow. The Bible is full of stories about people who suffered, but great things came from their pain. The central story of the Bible and of Easter focuses on a man who suffered for you. That is the whole idea. That is the whole point. Suffer, whether it is for love, for a greater good, for others. Enjoy the good and bask in that light, but during the storms look to the good that will come next. And there are storm clouds over America right now.
Speaking not-so-religiously, look at the cycle of this planet, for every drought, there is a good season. For every dark storm and rough rain, there is a point when the light breaks through the clouds. There is a rainbow that follows the rain. Focus on the moment you’re in, and learn that in general, people who go through tough times, get stronger because of it. When we were attacked, as a nation, how quickly did the steel of our will harden to offer help? Would the firefighters amid the towers be the heroes they have become if there wasn’t a tragedy to highlight their heroism?
Yes, it would be great if tragedy didn’t happen, but it does. As we celebrate Easter, a time of joy and laughter over the years, we may not feel like celebrating much in our homes. Maybe we feel trapped in our four walls, but there is so much to celebrate. Even as we “suffer” in our time of worry and uneasiness in our country, we celebrate the death of one man who sacrificed his life for love. Celebrate your faith if it says he rose again. Celebrate your faith in humanity as you constantly find story after story about this person who is making medical masks for people and adding a little light and color to others lives or that person who is donating food to the community pantry for those in need.
To “suffer well” is not something you are just going to do, though. It’s a choice, yes, but it is action and determination. Focus on the strength you gain from this fear. Focus on the good you see. While some media outlets focus on the virus, seek out the stories of those who are helping. Those who are working. Be determined not to get angry if the store is out of something, instead thank someone for continuing to work and trying to keep stock on the shelves amid this virus. They are working with the same fear you have. The police officer is patrolling the town closer to people than you really want or need to be right now.
What about that firefighter who got exposed to the virus because he was trying to help you? It wasn’t even a life saving venture, but someone still needed him or her. That firefighter has a daughter that they couldn’t see for fourteen days because they were there for you. They didn’t see you and try to decide if it was worth it. They responded, they reacted. They suffered for you. They were separated from family and friends, for a stranger. That firefighter suffered well, and it was hard.
You may not celebrate the religious holiday, but a majority of America celebrates something on this day. Even if you think candy eggs and bunny rabbits are dumb, but you still join with your family because they want you there. You are celebrating with them, celebrating life and love. And if you do celebrate the religious holiday, then all the more, celebrate a man who suffered so much more than you probably ever will. What is worth such suffering? What is so precious, that it is worth that firefighter’s sacrifice? Worth Jesus’ sacrifice? Worth you staying home and being uncomfortable? Worth the efforts we all put into maintaining life through all this going on?
Suffer well, my people. Suffer well this Easter for the love of family, of friends, of strangers, of this nation, and of hope for tomorrow and how much stronger we will be then. Suffer well.
DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Firefighters are known for saving lives. Tomorrow they hope to save what would – under normal circumstances – be the community Easter Egg hunt and to put smiles on the faces of children all across the county.
When Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson learned the annual event was being cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, he and his staff went to work to see what they could do bring a little joy back into the community.
Working with Kids Are Really Equal and the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, they came up with a plan for an Easter Egg Toss. The event will take place tomorrow (Apr. 11) From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., firefighters wearing personal protective gear and mounted on fire trucks will toss Easter Egg bags in many Dawson County neighborhoods.
“I kept hearing how different Easter would be this year with no community Easter Egg hunt,” Thompson said. “So I got with staff on and we talked about what we could do to put something positive back into the community.”
Thompson added that this all came together in the last two days. “We first met on Wednesday and we got the circular out on Thursday,” he said.
It would be impossible for firefighters to go into every Dawson County community due to the limited number of fire trucks so, in addition to the neighborhoods they will visit, they selected two alternative sites where families can go to receive their Easter Egg bags.
Firefighters will visit the following neighborhoods at the stated times:
10 a.m. — Rainhall, Mensie Park, Biscayne, Deer Run and Bethany Trace.
11 a.m. — Redhawk, Oakmont, Highland Point, Amicalola Chase and Dawson Junction.
12 noon — Dawson Forest Apartments, Oak Forest and Blacksmill.
Families with children who do not live in neighborhoods can participate by visiting Fausett Farms (11336 Hwy. 136 West) or Fire Station 1 (393 Memory Lane) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. All participants must remain in their vehicles.
While some may question the risk factor, Thompson said it is no different to picking up food at a drive through and it will give families something to smile about for a change.
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“Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. If enough theobromine is ingested it can be toxic to dogs and cats,” said Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion.
Trupanion traditionally sees a high number of chocolate toxicity claims around Easter.
Last year, in the month of April, Trupanion paid $31,757 in claims related to chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and other foreign body ingestions. This includes the fun-loving Labrador retriever who couldn’t resist the big bowl of chocolate and jelly beans he stumbled upon. After an emergency room visit and a $3,000 bill (covered by their Trupanion policy) the dog left the veterinary hospital a happy camper and was safe at home in time for Easter Sunday.
Easter lilies are bright, beautiful, and a staple floral decoration in the springtime. However, lilies are incredibly dangerous to our feline friends. In fact, lily toxicity is one of Trupanion’s most common and one of the most expensive toxicity claims, with an average claim cost of $830.
The toxins impact the kidneys and often cause symptoms like vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and appetite loss. Cats can develop tremors or go into seizures, and ingesting even a small piece of a lily plant can lead to kidney failure and death. Every part of the lily plant is toxic and cats can get sick even by licking pollen off their fur or drinking lily vase water.
There are plenty of other options for those who want to bring some fresh flowers and plants into their cat-friendly home this spring. Look for some cat-safe flowers like roses, snapdragons, gerbera daisies, sunflowers, or zinnias. Many herbs—like catnip—and ferns are also safe for pets and can help freshen the house and keep things green.
During this trying time, FetchYourNews.com wants you to know we are a part of your community. We know this Easter will be much different than most. No family gatherings, Sunrise services, or church gatherings but we want you all to remember, that we will get through this. We are all in this together. Here at FYN we wish you well on this Easter weekend.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home.
We are all in this together!