A storm cut through McDuffie County on June 23, causing damage throughout the county. On Monday, residents, state workers, and power company workers went out to clean up the damage.
Alexis Selby, 28, of Dearing, said the storm started at her house around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. At first, she said that she planned to watch the storm with her son, as he typically loves them. However, Selby said the skies got pitch back, and the storm got bad enough to scare her. She FaceTimed her dad to show him how wild the storm was getting.
“It was just huge gushes of rain; you could see the wind,” she said.
The storm lasted for 20 minutes, she said. A power line nearby went down during it, cutting lights for her household until the next morning. In the morning, Selby’s neighbor told her that her chinaberry tree had fallen. Selby went out and saw the tree laying down in her yard, along with a wrecked fence. Selby said the tree had been decades old, but probably came down due to the roots growing out instead of down.
“I’m sad because [the tree] caused a lot of shade for my son and my bedroom,” she said. “I’ll have to get shades now.”
To clean up the tree, Selby said her husband and a friend would get equipment to take care of the tree.
In the same neighborhood as Selby, Dearing maintenance worker Kenny Harris was blowing debris and picking up tree limbs from the road. He had started working around 8 a.m. on Monday and continued past noon, visiting various neighborhoods in the area.
“That storm did a lot of damage,” he said. “It’s been a while since I did anything like this.”
As damage goes up in a storm situation, Harris said more outside help gets called in to deal with the aftermath. During the day, Georgia Department of Transportation workers along with workers from power companies could be seen across the county clearing off roads on Monday.
However, for damage on residents’ properties, some residents took over clean-up themselves, as it did not fall under public jurisdiction for care. Mike Sexton, 48, of Thomson said two trees fell down during the Sunday storm, falling on his porch roof, his brand new truck, and damaging his garage. Fallen tree limbs and other debris from the storm scattered across his yard.
“It’s a big old mess,” he said.
His landlord, Pat Erwin, said he estimates that clean-up of the area will take a month. He said that they will wait for the debris to dry, then clean the area and burn the debris. He also said other trees on the property will need to be cut down.
But, as far as injuries, Sexton reported none. He said his wife was scared, but did not get hit when the tree fell. He also said his six chickens lived through the event. Though, Sexton said he hadn’t doubted the chickens would live through it.
“You ain't going to worry about the chickens,” he said. “They know when it rains. Chickens know where to hide.”