THE TIM WHITE residence on First Street S.E. was severely damaged during Sunday night’s storm.
City officials are asking people to stay off the roads to give crews room to clean up and make utility repairs in the wake of last night’s tornado that swept across the downtown area of Cairo. They warned fire crews and the public to consider any downed power line as if it were a live wire since power is being restored bit by bit.
Law enforcement has closed portions of several streets in the area as cleanup work is underway, so motorists who have to be out should use caution and abide by any road closure signs. Second Ave. S.E. from Fifth Street S.E. to South Broad Street is closed to all traffic and Fourth Avenue S.W. is closed from South Broad Street to Fourth Street S.W.
“I think the tornado got close to the ground in the Heights area,” said Chief Bill Schafer of the Cairo Fire Department.
City of Cairo fire crews have teamed up with county volunteer firefighters and are taking the city, block by block, to help clear downed trees from rights of way, including private driveways blocked by trees at the right of way.
“It’s a mess. We’ve got more damage than I thought we’d have,” states Richard Phillips, director of emergency management for Grady County.
It appears the tornado started around the area of Monrovia Nurseries on GA 111 and continued on a northeastern track for about a mile, hitting areas mostly south of the railroad tracks around Cairo First United Methodist Church, downtown proper, neighborhoods near Southside Elementary School.
There are hundreds of downed trees around the city, on top of homes, cars, businesses and across roadways.
Luckily, there were no serious injuries reported in the tornado. Officials are now concerned about the safety of cleanup crews and ask people to stay away from the city unless absolutely necessary.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will declare a state of emergency in Grady County, which would make state resources available to assist in the disaster response.