Rain, high winds jolt Southwest Georgia

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- While the damage from high winds and rain that moved through the area Wednesday afternoon was mostly minor, officials say a local substance addiction treatment facility was partially flooded after winds ripped holes in its roof.

The Anchorage, a faith-based alcohol treatment facility on the southern edge of Lee County, was hit hard by the high winds generated by the storm.

A large limb crashed down on the facility and parts of the roof on the building's dorm facilities was damaged to the point that some of the rooms were flooded.

The center has 55 residents who must remain on the site despite the damages. Anchorage officials are seeking help in feeding the residents while damages are being repaired.

Emergency management officials said that for all the huffing and puffing a strong line of thunderstorms brought Wednesday afternoon, the damage was minor in Dougherty County, with only a handful of limbs and trees reported down and small pockets of temporary power outages.

"Things, for the most part, were minor here," Deputy EMA Director Jim Vaught said. "Public works reported a few trees down and our fire guys were called out to a few lines down, but that was basically it."

Vaught said the city's CODE RED emergency system issued automated warning calls to various parts of the city six times between 12:07 p.m. and 1:45 p.m., making 52,797 calls at its peak.

The system calls subscribers anytime there is severe weather such as a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning.

In downtown Albany, the county's emergency warning sirens went off around 1 p.m. as the line of storms moved through. One side of a digital billboard on the North Jefferson Street overpass was blown off the bridge.

Dougherty County Public Works Director Larry Cook said that damage in the county was relatively light, with the only significant report being a downed tree on Aristedes Road, which blocked traffic for a short time until it was cleared.

The line of thunderstorms that moved through the area were part of a larger system of storms that caused major damage in Alabama and Mississippi before moving swiftly through Southwest Georgia.