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125 Americus residents without power as a result of tornado

AMERICUS – At least 300 locations in the area that includes Sharon Drive, Douglas Drive, Wanda Way and Pine Avenue were affected by the tornado that ripped through Americus early this morning and 125 of those residents are currently without power, this according to Sumter County EMA Director Nigel Poole.

The tornado rolled through this area at approximately 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, August 17.

“We have about 300 residents that are affected and 125 of them are without power,” Poole said. “Out of the 125, the ones that can receive power should have power by tomorrow at noon. The ones that can’t receive power will have to get with electricians to help restore power because at those locations, the storm just completely removed the way the power connects to the houses. Those people will need to call electricians to get their house rewired so that they can receive power.”

Poole went on to say that the Sumter County EMA will be opening up a shelter for the affected residents at Central Baptist Church, located at 190 Upper River Rd. in Americus. The shelter will be located in the church’s gymnasium and it will be operated by the Red Cross.

“Right now, we have the fire department canvasing the area and passing out handouts with information about the shelter that we’re opening,” Poole said. “We’ve got most of the roadways cleared at this point for emergency traffic, but we’re still encouraging all of the citizens not to go to that area because it is still very dangerous.”

As far as how long the shelter will be in operation, Poole said that it remains to be seen at this time. “We are opening it tonight,” Poole said. “I don’t know if we’re going to have one person come or if we’re going to have 50 people come. That remains to be seen.”

Poole went on to say that Americus Mayor Barry Blount has requested that the shelter be opened up to the affected residents and added that Sumter County has issued a State of Emergency for the county so that the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) can provide resources for this location. “It’s to get GEMA to recognize what is going on here in the city. We have a State of Emergency,” Poole said. “That starts the ball rolling to see if we help get some federal funds. There’s a monetary amount that has to be hit and we have damage assessment crews out right now looking at the damage.”

Those who would like to bring food to the First Responders can drop the food items off at the Central Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.