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Tornadoes strike GA

Damage assessment continued in Georgia on Thursday morning in the wake of two tornadoes that struck on Tuesday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | March 24, 2005

Damage assessment continued in Georgia on Thursday morning in the wake of two tornadoes that struck on Tuesday. One struck near Donalsonville and the other touched down along the border between Seminole and Miller counties.

Members of the Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) coalition reported they were assisting state and local officials with recovery operations. The American Red Cross opened a shelter in Donalsonville (Miller County) Monday night. No survivors stayed overnight.

Preliminary assessments on Wednesday showed about 200 homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornadoes, with Seminole and Miller counties hardest hit. One person was killed and more than 20 were injured. Gov. Sonny Perdue issued a state of emergency in Miller, Seminole and Wayne counties on Wednesday.

Most residential damage occurred in the community of Donalsonville.

About 50 more homes were destroyed or damaged in Screven, in Wayne County, according to Brad Brady, a member of the disaster response team for the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“Certainly we will be trying to pull together an ecumenical group at some point,” said Brady.

A local ministerial association is already in place in Donalsonville, and that group responded to a flood disaster several years ago, he said, by addressing emergency needs and then helping the community make a long-term recovery.

Disaster response leaders were already urging the public not to send material goods to the affected areas but to make a cash donation to a responding group instead. “There is no mechanism set up to take material donations,” said Brady. “Roads are still closed in some areas and they are still trying to do some rescue.”

The storm struck a few hours before dark, local residents reported.

A tornado also struck Wayne County, and several homes were damaged there.

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