Jenny Bullard carries a pair of boots from her home that was damaged by a tornado, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Ga. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in several counties, including Cook, that have suffered deaths, injuries and severe damage from weekend storms. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)
Photo: Branden Camp/FR171034 AP
Photo: Branden Camp/FR171034 AP

In Adel, a massive tragedy in a tiny town

Josh Stewart, 18, saw trailers flying and the bodies on the ground.  

» Updates: Latest reports on deaths from South Georgia tornadoes

Officials still weren't naming those who perished, but Facebook feeds and word of mouth had him worrying about a friend who he heard was badly injured.  

"His fiancée was killed and her mother was killed," Stewart said. "He was going into surgery. He doesn't even know. "  

He shivered as he spoke. He was standing barefoot on the wet ground outside a gas station here. He said he was in shock.  

He's from Nashville and was visiting his own fiancée when the tornado bore down on the Sunrise Acres trailer park in the middle of the night. Their trailer was spared.  

He didn't even know what hospital his friend was in.  

"I'd like to find out where," he said.  

The owner of the park, William Bush, said about 20 of the 96 homes in the park were completely destroyed.  

"They're absolutely not there. Down to the foundation," he said.  

Devocheo Williams, 29, said he the trailer was shaking and coming undone. He ran outside into the dark and heard people calling, “Help me. Help me.”

Authorities have not let residents back inside the park as they continue to search for victims and make sure any dangers such as live wires are gone.  

He spoke to several families who lost loved ones and homes.  

"Extremely upset," he said. "They said they had to huddle up in a closet" during the storm.  

Quickly after the storm people in this place started lending help, delivering packs of water and food and blankets and clothing to the churches set up as shelters.  

Local hotels filled up with people driven by the storm from their homes.  

The Days Inn had no television or internet service, a remnant of the storm. Wearied people stood outside their rooms, smoking cigarettes, caring for pets and trying to amuse their kids.

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