Some Cairo homeowners unable to salvage storm-damaged houses

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 11, 2019

CAIRO, Ga. (WCTV) -- Monday, heavy machinery hauled off debris and residents sorted through rubble, trying to see what's left one week after a devastating storm went through parts of South Georgia and the Big Bend.

"I hate to say it, but there are some homes that aren't going to be put back up, just to be realistic," said Grady County Emergency Management Agency Director Richard Phillips. "They were destroyed."

Grady County EMA has found 14 homes and three businesses that have been destroyed beyond repair.

"We've got some that can actually go back in their home but, unfortunately, some are like me where we aren't able to do that," said David Morton, a storm victim. "We have to start over, so it's like the beginning. One step at a time, one day at a time."

The homes of Morton and his two neighbors have been left mangled and torn, only to be demolished at a later date.

"Basically, we're just getting little stuff that we're finding that's surprising, like old pictures we never thought we'd see again," said one resident.

Homeowners are now grabbing what's valuable, like cherished memories of life on First Street.

Grady County EMA says their request for a State of Emergency extension was granted through March 15, meaning they'll have the help of Georgia Department of Transportation crews and other state resources until Friday.