Sheriff says TCSO responded to 204 calls for service after tornado struck

Published 8:00 am Saturday, April 1, 2023

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During a called meeting of the Troup County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, officials outlined the emergency response to the March 26 tornado that passed through southern Troup County.

Sheriff James Woodruff said that between a 48-hour period from March 26 to March 28, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office received 204 calls for service.

The calls included 11 trees on homes, 12 flooded roads, 27 road blockages, five persons trapped, 18 welfare checks, 11 alarm calls and 79 other non-storm-related calls. Woodruff said those calls for service don’t even include everything.

“That doesn’t include the many times a deputy was driving down the road going somewhere, but they came upon something else while they were going to a call and they had to stop and take care of that first,” Woodruff said, estimating that they dealt with 300 or more actual incidents.

Woodruff said deputies worked closely with County Engineer James Emery, the roads department and the fire department to ensure the roads were safe and residents got the emergency assistance they needed during and after the storm.

Sheriff Woodruff noted that the previous storm on Jan. 12 gave countywide agencies a lot of practice in dealing with emergency tornado response.

“It’s terrible that we’re getting good at this,” Woodruff said. “We’re actually getting good and that’s a bad thing because when you have these kinds of tragedies it’s a thousand wonders nobody died if you’ve seen the damage down in West Point.”

Emery said nearly 150 homes were determined to have sustained some type of damage during the storm including 23 homes that were completely destroyed. An estimated 26 homes sustained major damage and 41 had minor damage.

At least 57 homes were affected by the storm, which could be as minimal as a single roofing shingle blown off.

The total damaged homes do not include damages to businesses, churches and other buildings or vehicles and other property damaged by the storm.

Deputy Chief Appraiser Dan Smith said the total assessed property loss is about $8,650,000.  Breaking the damage into categories, Smith said the full damage loss evaluation was $1.5 million, major damage was $1.9 million, minor damage was $3 million and affected was $2.2 million.