News 12 first at five, March 17, 2008
Matthews, GA---"There are houses now where there wasn't houses. There are no houses where there used to be houses," said Chief Barrow Walden He is fire chief in Matthews, GA.
When a tornado struck his small town of 800 Chief Walden says he sprung into action. "I got my family to safety and while the storm was still in our area I came back into the community," said Chief Walden. He did it with no regard for his own safety. "I just knew that my safety wasn't up to me. I just came back in to help," said Walden.
He says what he found will haunt him for years to come. "I felt totally helpless. I had families crying. I had children screaming. Everybody was looking to me for help, and we just did what we could."
The storm left them stranded in field of darkness. "The cellphones were useless. The radios were useless." Chief Walden says he has never seen such devastation. "I've seen T.V., and I've never had to live through it. I hope and pray I never have to go through it again."