As Macon, Georgia quickly learned, you don’t need to be near a beach to feel the force of a hurricane. Even though our center-of-the-State community has historically served a destination for tropical storm evacuees, this time it was different, when Hurricane Irma turned southeast and put Georgia in her bullseye.
It was a Monday like no other when Irma made her way from the Florida coastline, straight into Central Georgia. Although downgraded to a Tropical Storm when she charged into Macon, Georgia on September 11th, 2017, she was a still storm, nonetheless. And a strong one at that.
But even before Tropical Storm Irma blew through the midstate, hundreds of volunteers and work crews were ready to take action.
“Tropical Storm Irma was unlike anything we’ve faced here in many, many years,” said Chris Floore, public affairs representative for Macon-Bibb County. “Typically, we are faced with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes that impact smaller, specific areas. This time, our entire community was the impact zone because of the size and severity of this storm.”
As the community banded together to help local storm victims and evacuees, Floore said the willingness of people to help their neighbors was uplifting to see. Here’s a look at how the storm impacted Macon-Bibb County and the amazing response from the community.
By the Numbers:
- $225,000 was saved by the Museum of Arts and Sciences because mulch from storm debris was able to be used in their campus expansion project
- 100,000 cubic yards of debris was collected from Oct. 11, 2017, to Jan. 26, 2018
- 56,000 customers restored to power
- 8,270 meals prepared by the Salvation Army of Central Georgia
- 6,990 recorded volunteer and work hours in local storm response
- 5,500 hotel rooms in Macon-Bibb County were booked several days ahead of the storm
- 3,600 hours worked by Macon-Bibb County Public Works employees cleaning up road debris
- 826 hours worked by 40 Salvation Army of Central Georgia employees and volunteers
- 700 people housed in five American Red Cross shelters
- 500 vouchers donated by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia for people in shelters to get clothing
- 489 hours worked by 13 nurses and 20 staff members at the health department after the storm
- 350 hours worked in storm response by the Emergency Management Agency
- 254 intersections without power were restored by Sept. 15, 2017
- 212 roads blocked by debris were cleared
- 170 thank you bags were created by Highland Hills Baptist Church for department crews
- 60 restaurants cleared to reopen after the storm by North Central Health District workers
- 50 animals rescued by Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare Department (including three rabbits!)
- 1 amazing community – for more, check out Episode 3 in the OneMacon Podcast!