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Flooded Georgians Checking The Damage

MONDAY, MARCH 16, 1998

Some homeowners were allowed to return to their homes Sunday to survey damage caused by flooding that had strained the resources of one relief agency.

A week of high water from the Flint River had forced some 11,000 people from their homes in Dougherty County.

City officials were still inspecting houses for damage Sunday and couldn’t say how many people had moved back home.

“It’s difficult to put a number on that right now,” said John McDonough, assistant city manager. “Some people may have gone in and occupied the home despite the notices and no utilities.”

Wynell Avera was among those allowed to check out the damage during the weekend, but found that her home had been deemed uninhabitable. She and her husband had just completed repairs last year from damage caused in a 1994 flood.

“It’s just horrible. You just feel like everything’s gone, your whole world,” she said. “How many times are we going to have to start over?”

The Flint River had receded to 30.15 feet Sunday, down from its crest of 36.92 feet on Tuesday. Flood stage is about 20 feet.

A dawn to dusk curfew remained in effect in some of the hardest hit neighborhoods.

At the Salvation Army’s warehouse, food, bottled water and cleaning supplies were down to the bare bones.

“We are woefully inadequate. We will expect a long line of folks (Monday) morning and what we have right now will be gone in an hour,” said Capt. Don Vick of the Salvation Army.

The volunteer agency’s stockpiles were drained by the tornadoes that devastated central Florida, Vick said.

“We’ll give out what we have and we’ll give it until we run out,” he said.


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