Volunteers help Warren County storm victims

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March 6, 2007

WARREN CTY, Ga.---Today, eight Georgia counties including McDuffie were declared federal disaster areas, meaning they qualify for more help.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency also says they're working to get Warren County on the list, and are aware of the problems there.

Still, some of the only help they've seen in Warren County is from volunteers.

News 12 spent the day there with a group led by Wesley United Methodist.

Warren County families say while they don't feel hopeless without help from the state yet, they do feel forgotten.

Volunteer John Kirkland may be retired, but he doesn't let his age stop him from helping families who need it most.

"This is what we do," he said. "We don't need a pat on the back or an 'Atta boy'. This is what we do."

John was one of a dozen or so church volunteers from Wesley United Methodist in Evans who wanted to invest their own sweat equity in the community.

People in Warren County haven't seen any state or federal help yet, despite $4 million worth of damage to the area.

"I was crushed. I couldn't believe it," said storm victim Judy Jones.

Judy stood in disbelief as she looked at her son's belongings scattered across the yard.

"Makes me feel lost...but money isn't everything," she said. "We have our life."

Judy's shed landed in some trees. If they can get the shed back down the way it went up, they think it'll be as good as new.

Amazingly these trees are the only things holding up judy's shed and if they can get it back down the same way it went up they say it'll be as good as new.

But before they can roll in with the new, they have to roll out the old..

Taking matters into their own hands, Columbia County firefighters brought their own chainsaws to cut away at the fallen debris the same way the F2 tornado did when it landed on these homes.

"Start all over," Judy said. "It's all you can do."

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency says they're aware of the problem in Warren County, and are talking to local officials and to FEMA.

The church also plans to provide more help. They're asking for more resources like backhoes to help clear debris, and they're working to organize more cleanups throughout the week.

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