Decatur still working with homes damaged during Irma


Decatur still working with homes damaged during Irma

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One of over 100 tree-related incidents caused by Tropical Storm Irma on Sept. 11. This old oak, with about a 6-foot root base, came within 20 feet of the Moore Chapel (built in 1906), the United Methodist Children’s Home’s most cherished building. Bill Banks for the AJC

Much of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irma in Decatur has been cleared, but the city continues working with homeowner victims of the Sept. 11 tempest. According to David Junger, assistant city manager and director of Public Works, falling trees damaged 36 homes. There were no deaths and Junger said he wasn’t aware of any injuries.

Decatur had over 100 tree-related incidents involving falling limbs, debris, tree segments, whole trees, power lines and traffic signals. Junger believes about a couple dozen roads were blocked at one time.

Two amateur weather stations within the city clocked the heaviest winds at 47 mph.

“[The Georgia Department of Transportation] told me,” Junger said, “they thought Decatur was one of the worst hit areas they worked on.”

Seven trees alone fell inside the 77-acre United Methodist Children’s Home, now owned by the city. One old oak came within 20 feet or so of the Moore Chapel built in 1906. A smaller tree crashed near the Home’s oldest structure, the circa-1902 Hemphill Cottage, which was undamaged.

Junger believes this was the worst storm to hit Decatur since 1995’s Hurricane Opal.

There are still no figures for how much the cleanup will cost the city.

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