UPDATED Tuesday, Jan. 24 with additional information about needs in the storm-ravaged region and ways to help.
Fierce storms killed 15 people and devastated large swaths of South Georgia over the weekend. With four counties particularly hard hit — Berrien, Brooks, Cook and Dougherty — there’s a major need for money, food, water, clothing and other items to help.
At least one metro Atlanta utility has already answered the call. The AJC’s Ben Brasch reports that eight Marietta Power and Crew workers are in Albany now, helping to replace transformers and doing other highly skilled work needed to rebuild destroyed lines. Marietta also sent three bucket trucks and one digger truck to help Albany Utilities.
Here’s how you can help — either in-person or by sending money and supplies (Note: Communication is still spotty in some places, so you might have to keep calling or checking back in):
The American Red Crossis sending volunteers and supplies to the area, and is currently operating three emergency shelters (at First Baptist Church of Adel, the Albany Civic Center, Turner County Civic Center). To make a donation, go to the Red Cross website (www.redcross.org), call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a 10 dollar donation.
The American Red Cross of South Georgia located in Valdosta, is also involved in relief efforts. For more information or to donate directly, go to www.redcross.org/ga/south.
Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief is currently collecting monetary donations for those living in the affected areas. They say that county officials have asked them to postpone cleanup efforts for now, and that when information on tangible items needed is availalbe, information will be updated on its web site (www.missiongeorgia.org) and Facebook page.
Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry will collect essential items, including bottled water, nonperishable foods, any and all sized clothing for men, women and children, along with all types of personal care items. Grounds will be open for dropoffs 8 a.m to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 401 Larry Walker Pkwy.
Operation Blessing International has deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Albany, Georgia to assist residents with cleanup. Starting Wednesday, volunteers will be accepted daily at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center located at New Birth Fellowship Church, 2106 Radium Springs Rd., Albany. Volunteers must be at least 18-years-old and appropriately dressed for the work in long pants and and hard soled shoes or work boots. For more information, call the Volunteer Hotline at 757-374-0944. To donate directly to the relief effort and for additional information, go to www.ob.org.
First Assembly of God Church in Adel opened its Fellowship Hall as a temporary shelter on Sunday. Volunteers and supplies are needed, according to the church’s Facebook page. 601 Massee Post Rd, Adel, GA. 229- 896-3935 , www.adelfirst.com
Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough has posted a callout for bottled water and other supplies on his Facebook page: “Bring as many cases of water as you can possibly afford to the Parking lot of the Tift County Sheriff’s Office tomorrow and the next couple of days,” the sheriff wrote on Sunday. “We will have a truck and or trailer to load depending on the need, to distribute to for our friends to the South during this very horrific effort.” They’ll be accepting other needed relief items as well. 500 Morgan Drive,Tifton. 229-388-6020, www.tiftsheriff.org.
Albany City Commissioner B. J. Fletcher is coordinating an effort to help storm victims, particularly those seeking shelter at the Civic Center. The shelter is in need of pillows, blankets and other supplies. Items can be dropped off at BJ’s Country Buffet and Gieryic’s Automotive Repai, both located at 2401 Dawson Rd, Albany. For additional information or to get involved, call Commissioner Fletcher at 229-854-9443.
United Methodist Committee on Relief is helping to produce hygiene kits and cleaning buckets for storm victims. To make a donation or to find out how you can help assemble and ship kits yourself, go to www.umcor.org and follow the links to relief supplies.
Samaritans Purse needs volunteers to assist with severe storm response cleanup efforts in the Albany area. In particular, skilled volunteers able to operate chain saws and construction equipment are needed. For more information, go to www.samaritanspurse.org
The City of Albany’s Disaster Relief page on Facebook also provides information on where to get help and offer assistance.
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