Georgia tornado victims still scrambling to put lives back together days after storms

Familes have been working for days to pick up the pieces after at least five tornadoes moved through parts of Georgia last week.

Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln was in LaGrange Monday, where it still looks like a bomb went off in one neighborhood. Victims Lincoln spoke to said that while they do have home insurance, right now they are strapped for cash trying to deal with hotel and moving expenses.

Kim and Dwayne Fields said they’re loading up and salvaging items from their tornado-ransacked home in the Lexington Park subdivision.

“God’s got a better plan for us,” Dwayne Fields said. “We thought this was our forever home, but it’s not. He got something in store”

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The Winston family said they’ve still got a mortgage and other bills to deal with while they try to figure out a place to live, a car to drive and how to move forward.

Both the Winstons and the Fields anticipate spending more than $1,000 on temporary living and moving expenses.

“It’s been sleepless nights,” Derek Winston said. “It’s been very stressful. We never went through anything like this before.”

Krnisha Gamble is left trying to figure out where she and her two kids are going to live. She moved in with her aunt over the summer for a better home life after fleeing a crime-riddled LaGrange neighborhood. Tornadoes destroyed her aunt’s home.


“It’s an unfortunate situation to happen twice back-to-back, but the main thing, like I said, ‘We’re still here,’” Gamble said.

The City of LaGrange has set up a GoFundMe to help tornado victims. You can donate to it HERE.

Officials in Spalding County said they will have to rebuild their power grid after 60% of it was damaged in the twisters. Power crews from 27 different cities in Georgia, as well as from Alabama and Florida, are helping them. There are still nearly 3,000 customers without power.

About 400 students in Spalding can’t live in their homes right now, prompting school officials to keep schools closed at least through Wednesday of this week.

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Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin was at a news conference Monday where county officials made a call for additional volunteers and donations during the continued recovery phase.

In Butts County, a man who lives in a mobile home park in Jenkinsburg said the owner of the park turned the Red Cross away on Sunday afternoon despite the fact that residents needed supplies.

“The worker of Red Cross came back over and said, ‘I apologize, we can not help you’ll out. The owner of this park has told us to get off the property,’” he said. “I was heartbroken. It broke my heart.”

The park’s manager said the owner did turn the Red Cross away because the worker appeared to only be taking photos and didn’t have emergency supplies on hand. The owner was concerned the photos would be used to shed a bad light on the mobile home park.

Residents said that the needs of the community should have come first.

“There’s a lot of kids that live in that park,” the man said. “There’s a lot of families that are in need right now.”

Anyone who needs help can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.