Many communities are still rebuilding following the destructive March tornado.
NEWNAN, Ga. — More than three months after a tornado ripped through Coweta County, many residents are still without a home.
C.L. Baker is one of those residents.
“That’s the first time I seen something like that out of all the years,” said Baker.
His family has lived at their house on Johnson Avenue in Newnan for almost 40 years. That was until the tornado on March 25 ripped through the community and destroyed that home.
“Everything broke lose, the sheetrock and all the insulation blowing down the hall. I cracked the bathroom door to peep out. I saw alI that, I shut the door,” said Baker.
Now, he’s still picking up the pieces and trying to get help.
Kelli Yeager, the executive director of Bridging the Gap, said he’s far from home. BTG is an outreach group that connects residents in need to the resources they need.
She said right after the storm, there were more than 419 families who reached out for help right away and now there’s a second wave needing help.
“Now we’re beginning to see other families who didn’t realize they had damage to their home it can take a while to show up or they’ve gone through all of their resources all if their savings,” said Yeager.
In fact, more than 49 new cases have come into BTG in the last few days.
Yeager said Coweta County was denied individual assistance help from the government. Now, both the city and county’s storm debris removal has ended – but there are still piles of debris left in yards.
It’s not just homes that are still affected. While the debris is all gone, and tarps are up, Newnan High School’s damaged buildings still look a lot like they did right after the tornado.
However, Principal Dr. Chase Puckett said they are ready for the new school year.
“We are excited to report that with the use of 60 modular classrooms and three of our previous 13 buildings, we will be able to provide face-to-face instruction to our Newnan High School students,” said Puckett.
There are ways to help donating time and money. Yeager said that help is crucial.
“Well we could use the help. We sure could if they’re interested,” said Baker.
Coweta County is hosting a 6-week forum stating next Thursday, July 22, covering everything from debris removal to how to register for help. It will be 5:30 7 p.m. every Thursday (except Aug 5) at the CEC, 160 MLK Jr. Drive in Newnan. To volunteer to help go to www.servecoweta.com
To call BTG to get help, dial 770-683-9110.