With seven people dead and 23 others injured in what is believed to be two tornadoes that hit adjacent mobile home communities in Murray County Sunday night, emergency personnel are now turning to recovery mode.
Fire and EMA director Dwayne Bain says that calls from the public have been pouring in with offers of help. Anyone interested can meet at Bagley Middle School Tuesday at noon to do just that.
“We’re going to stage everybody here. We’re going to try to be able to have some type of an assignment list for those volunteers willing to go out and help in the community,” Bain tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Governor Brian Kemp toured the devastation Monday afternoon and offered words of encouragement to the survivors.
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“I just told them we’d be praying for them, number one. I mean these are resilient people up here, but they’ve gotten a double whammy—a lot of them are out of work because of everything that’s going on with the coronavirus. And now to have this storm hit, it’s hard on them,” he says.
The ages of the seven dead range from 20 to 79. Three of those were from one family. All of the victims came from four different homes within the two mobile home communities.
Crystal Castillo and her brother Miguel were inside their mobile home on Ridgeview Lane when the second tornado hit. As he grabbed his two small nieces to head towards his sister, the trailer flipped and was tossed across the street in pieces. All four walked away.
“Honestly, we’re blessed. We just came out with some bruises and scratches. The girls are fine,” she says.
Scott Enke lives down the street and thought they had just been spared from the first tornado. That’s when he heard the noise from the second one and told his family to run to the bathroom.
“As soon as they got to the bathroom, I picked the dog up and went through the door to get into the bathroom. It blowed (sic) me through the door and the dog went somewhere. It lasted about two or three seconds and that was it,” he says.
The house was destroyed around them, but all survived including their dog.
In total, Bain believes between 50-60 homes were damaged or destroyed in the six-mile swath through the county.
“There’s some damage there that’s just… I mean there’s nothing left. It looks like it’s been run through the shredder,” he says.