SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — It's been five days since tornadoes roared across north Georgia and metro Atlanta. Residents in the Griffin and Spalding County area are feeling overwhelmed after government officials announced Tuesday that clean up could take months.
One Griffin couple is feeling the pressure after they received an estimate of nearly $10,00 for tree removal on their front yards, including the tree in his front yard that came down on top of his next-door neighbor’s house.
"A disaster," said Griffin resident John Talley.
Talley and his partner, Phyllis Phillips, have no idea how much more money they’re going to need to repair the damage inside their home.
For most residents, damage to their homes could take at least a year to fix, causing them thousands of dollars. Now, communities are just trying to figure out their basic needs after the storm wiped out power, access to roads and more.
“Been without food, can’t eat, no gas, no lights, can’t bathe, can’t do nothing,” said Phillips.
Federal Emergency Management teams are beginning to assess the massive damage and determine how much federal money will be needed to help in the recovery.
“We can’t expect to put this place back together overnight,” said Spalding County manager Steve Ledbetter.
The latest damage assessment revealed the tornadoes damaged or destroyed nearly 2,000 residential and commercial properties in the City of Griffin and Spalding County alone.
Disaster Survival Assistance Teams from GEMA and FEMA are going door to door to find out what people need.
Griffin Power estimates it has restored power to 80% of its customers.
Ledbetter said it will take at least four weeks just to re-open all of the streets that are covered in debris.
“We can expect three months of just dedicated hard work for recovery, and that’s at best. Absolutely at best," said Ledbetter.
The Griffin Spalding County School System has confirmed that all schools now have power. The superintendent may decide Wednesday whether to reopen schools for the rest of the week.
For residents who need assistance, contact 678-453-4508 or visit here.