‘The destruction is phenomenal,’ Albany officials discuss damage, missing toddler


Deadly storms hit Albany less than three weeks ago with straight-line winds blowing through much of Dougherty County on  Jan. 2.

A very bad situation was made worse Sunday as the area was hit again. This time it was deadly tornadoes.

“There are four confirmed deaths. That number is going to rise,” said Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas during a news conference Monday morning.

Cohilas said he’s hearing many reports of missing people, including a child that was blown away in the storm.

VIDEO: EMA director gives update on deadly Albany tornadoes

“During a flyover we got a call for a 2-year-old child that had been swept away,” he said. “We have a lot of people separated from their families. They have no food, no warmth and no hope.”

Emergency officials from several areas around the state are helping with search and rescue efforts, Dougherty County EMA Director Ron Rowe said during the news conference.

“We have multiple neighborhoods that have been removed,” he said about some mobile home parks that were completely obliterated.

Cohilas said the Jan. 2 storms were under reported and he’s still trying get money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help the town.

VIDEO: Damage around Albany following deadly tornadoes

“We’ve exhausted our local resources,” Cohilas said “Despite having extensive state resources … it has been too little.”

Cohilas then said he thinks red tape is keeping FEMA dollars from Dougherty County. He said he was just in Washington, D.C. last week speaking to Georgia lawmakers trying to get funding.

“We have been requesting and crying out for help from FEMA for their assistance,” Cohilas said adding that he hopes President Trump can help them cut through the red tape.

FOR 24-HOUR STORM RELIEF ASSISTANCE, CALL THE EOC CENTER AT 229-483-6226, 229-483-6227, and 229-483-6228.

RELATED: President Trump pledges support to Georgia after deadly storms

PHOTOS: Deadly tornadoes cause massive damage in Albany

PHOTOS: Storms tear through SW Georgia

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