OUR VIEW: This community continues to give

Published 10:30 am Friday, January 20, 2023

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The tornado cleanup continues in areas around LaGrange, now over a week since severe storms hit our area.

FEMA was in town on Wednesday, and the National Weather Service has released more information on the two tornadoes that hit the area.

While we’re sure most in our community have moved on, there are people still trying to get their lives back together in hard-hit areas. On Friday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the community is invited to help with the cleanup in the Lexington Park community. It’s being asked that residents donate needed items, such as storage totes, boxes, water, food and  trash bags.

The City of LaGrange has also started a GoFundMe to raise money impacted by the tornado, which as we type this had raised nearly $3,000. 

While all the cleanup continues, we continue to receive more information on the tornadoes.

Both of the twisters that impacted Troup County were EF-2s, reaching peak wind speeds of 120 miles per hour. The first touched down just south of the Callaway Airport in LaGrange, then traveled along Pegasus Parkway and Whitesville Road.

Eventually, the tornado crossed Interstate 85 and continued to the Baldwin Park community, where more than 30 homes had significant damage, per NWS.

The other tornado is believed to have started around Five Points, Alabama near County Road 114 west of Highway 431. The tornado intensified northeast of Five Points, damaging the roof of a barn and at least one residence before completely destroying an unoccupied manufactured home, per NWS. 

Reading all of that reinforces how much of an emergency situation this was. Two tornadoes on one day — at the same time. That’s about as real as it gets when it comes to a natural disaster in our community.

We’re thankful that Troup County is rallying around the storm victims to help them clean up the mess left behind. We encourage you to help if you can.

Thank you to everyone — and we mean everyone — who has played a role in informing the public, helping storm victims, donating a dollar or a pack of water. This community always opens up their wallets when disaster strikes, and it’s doing that again when many need it the most.