South Georgia community pushing forward on two-year anniversary of deadly tornadoes

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 23, 2019

Storm damage in Adel, Georgia.

COOK COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) – It was a somber day for many across South Georgia as Tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of deadly tornadoes ravaging the community.

Four people were killed in Dougherty County, two people were killed in both Berrien and Brooks counties and seven people lost their lives in Cook County.

Many people in Cook County said things will never be the same, and the tragedy is still taking a big emotional toll on survivors in the area.

While some may only see an open field, the Surrency family sees the spot where their home once stood. They have yet to rebuild since the storm, as they are working on repairs on a nearby house.

All they could salvage from the remains was a piece of furniture and a piano.

Lisa Surrency says it’s painful to remember, but hard to forget. She and her husband laid on top of their granddaughter in the hallway of their home when the tornado came barreling through.

“I just miss the way it used to be,” said Surrency. “I miss the trees. I miss the house next door, and just knowing we thought we were safe.”

Surrency created an album of photos documenting the damage caused two years ago, and the repairs that have been made since on the roof and kitchen, which wasn’t torn into, but was ruined by rain.

Residents say it’s the little things they notice, like the lack of flowers and trees that once bloomed around their homes.

It’s a day that holds a lot of painful memories, but moving forward, residents hope one day to bring their hometown back to what it once was.

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