On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael, one of the most devastating storms of 2018, made landfall in parts of Florida as a massive Category 4 storm. At a fast pace, the storm moved inland through Georgia as a Category 3 and maintained winds consistent with a Category 2 hurricane. As the storm passed through Southwest Georgia, it produced major damage to homes, structures and uprooted thousands of trees in the City of Albany and Dougherty County. In addition to the destruction, more than 90 percent of residents were without power and utilities, thousands were without water and a significant amount of people sustained home damage in the wake of the storm. The storm severely crippled the city; however, city and county officials, employees and volunteers quickly moved to action in an effort to provide help and support to thousands of residents.
As we continue to support recovery efforts, Albany Relief and Recovery Long Term Recovery Group has worked alongside United Way of Southwest Georgia for the past (8) months. The long-term recovery group, volunteer groups, community residents and contractors have done an incredible job repairing homes and removing debris from private property and public areas. Although, there was initially a significant amount of damage, teams are quickly helping to restore families to some type of normalcy.
One story that captures how the group has helped to restore families is the story of Mrs. Anna Williams. Mrs. Anna Williams is a long time resident of Albany and is currently in her 80’s. She resides on the Southside of Albany in a home that has been passed down through her family since the 1970’s. Although the home has been fully paid, it was uninsured. When Hurricane Michael arrived in Albany, the home of Mrs. Williams sustained major roof damage and received an incredible amount of storm debris around her property. Without insurance or federal assistance, Mrs. Williams faced a great financial burden to get her home back to normal. With the help of countless volunteers and the resources provided by United Way, Mrs. Anna Williams was able to get her roof repaired and remain in her home.
There are many other stories in Albany that are similar Mrs. Williams and it is because of the help and support from United Way, we are able to continue to impact the community and live united.