PALMETTO, Ga. -- What was left of Hurricane Irma dealt a blow to many businesses across Georgia when it passed through the area Monday.
A Fulton County horse therapy program, which has helped hundreds of trauma and abuse victims, is now in jeopardy because of storm damage from what was once a massive Category 5 hurricane.
The owner of Flying Change Equine Therapy in Palmetto, Georgia really thought she was prepared for the storm. Lissa Corcoran said she had a team of 11 volunteers out ahead of Irma to prepare the horses and stable but the storm found a way to leave its mark.
"This is everything - this is everything that I love. I'm - I'm sorry. Here's I go again," Corcoran trailed off while wiping away her tears.
Irma's fury left quite a bit of destruction on her property including damaged fencing and holes through the roof of one of her barns.
"Oh, wow. There's actually another gaping hole," said Anna Lanier, one of Corcoran's employees.
But by far the biggest damage is what the storm did to the roof of the covered arena.
"This is basically a Teflon fabric cover," Corcoran said. "The danger is it is torn down as far as it can go but it's also starting to go up. So if that tear continues to go up, we could lose this entire half of the barn."
The barn is one of Cochran's favorite places on the property because it allows her to offer year-round therapy for combat veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), abused children and adult survivors of domestic violence.
"When I came in and walked in this morning, I looked at that and I kind of felt I was on the verge of tears because this place means so much to me ." said Sophie Hollowel who volunteers at the stable.
Tricia Jones, who is a longtime client said she was devastated when she heard about the damage to Flying Change.
"I get emotional. It saved my child. It saved all of us," she said. "What Corcoran does for these children - what she does for these families - if that program is gone, I can't imagine."
But Corcoran said it's a real possibility. She estimates it would cost about $20,000 to replace the damaged roof.
"And that's not anything we have. Meanwhile, we don't have any insurance on it because insurers know that this type of cover has a tendency to tear so I thought we bought this 30-year warranty to cover us but now it turns out to be completely useless."
Corcoran said the manufacturer of the roofing material went bankrupt and the warranty is no longer valid, meaning she'll have to cover the repairs.
"I don't know what we're going to do," she said. "I just have to lean on my faith."
The organization is taking donations of just about any kind - whether it be spare time to help make repairs or monetary contributions.
Those who feel they can help are being asked to call 404-512-0834 or visit FlyingChange.org.
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