January Storms 2017




 The Albany High Times' "Storm Edition"!!!

This Page Originally Published
January 1/27/2017


Website: http://www.albanyhightimes.com                Email: albanyhightimes@aol.com

. . .  just a small town in South Georgia that grew the best kids ever raised!!







 ATLANTA (CBS46) - January 23, 2017

The two deadly tornadoes that ravaged the cities of Albany and Adel are still being assessed by the National Weather Service, but are likely to be rated EF2 or higher, with winds above 140 mph. 

The death toll from those tornadoes is fifteen people. 

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  On January 1, 2017 ... just like many AHS Indians all over the United States ...  probably more than a few of our Indians in Albany "cooked up" some Collard Greens and Pot-likker, Black-eyed Peas ... maybe smoked a Boston Butt on the grill to welcome in the New Year.  Some might have smiled proudly and said, "For good luck!"  But on January 2nd with New Year's leftovers in the refridgerator, the luck ran out ... our home town suffered the ravages of a tornado which only recently was even considered as such.  Many Indians were fortunate that the uprooting of beautiful old trees missed their homes when the angry winds blew by; others suffered major damage when the trees fell on their homes, and are still not able to "go back home".  The kindess of Indians and other friends who opened their homes has been  heartwarming!


 The first call was from Tommy Pattison (Reporter/Editor for Albany High Times).  There was so much damage from trees falling on their home, he ('54) and wife, Betty (Holt '56) were unable to stay.  Kind friends took them in, along with their little Terrior, Buddy.  Unfortunately, Buddy got away, and they are still hoping to find him.  It may be 3 months before they can get back in their home.


NEWS FLASH ... BUDDY'S BACK!  Featured on Channel 10 tonight! Click here: Missing Albany dog found after 16 days - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports


Another Albany High Times' staff member, Martha LeSueur Nicholson ('56) lost electricity, but not water, and no damage to her home.  She said, "I learned how to camp out"! 


There was only one death during the January 2nd tornado .  Sadly, she was a 1961 Indian.  Her death was not counted as "caused by the actual tornado".  It was after the storm when the electricity was off, that she lit a candle, apparently went to sleep and somehow was axfixiated.  (See "In Memoriam")


The death toll for the 2nd storm was high.  Sadly, Radium, and the Holly Road area was in the path, as was the Marine Base.  I have seen reports the death toll in Albany and Adel was 19.


The government did not name the first storm a tornado - therefore no government help.  After the 2nd storm, President Trump called Governor Deal to give his condolences.  The governor came down to view the damage, and as of this date, it looks like BOTH storms will be rated tornados, which means help is on the way for the people of Albany GA! 

The good people and churches of Albany came together to house and feed ... God bless them all!


Latest report: 363 homes with major damage.




After calls or emails from Indians, Tommy and I were anxious to know about our two homes.  We decided to make a 1-day trip to see Albany for ourselves, and check out our homes. We left at 7:30 a.m. on the morning of January 19th.  We had heard that Crown Hill had suffered, so as we came into Albany on Dawson Road, to stop and check on my parent's grave, and to ask about the graves of several friends. 




In this area (to the right of the office) where monuments are flat and not upright, there was no visable damage except to the little ornaments placed on the monuments. At that point, the only visable damage were the canopies used for burials.

We didn't have the needed time to spend at Crown Hill, since we had to get to Blackbeard's by 1:00 pm.  So, instead of spending time at the Smith plot, we went to the office to ask directions for locating family plots for about 5 friends who asked if I would check on their family's plots. Marty K. Thornhill, of Crown Hill Cemetary was kind enough to say she would have the information ready for me before 5 p.m. when they closed.  So we left for Blackbeards and special friends!


I had put a notice on FaceBook and Vintage Albany GA, that we would be at Blackbeard's at 1:00 p.m. and suggested any who could ... join us.  I personally invited only one person ... Betty Rehberg ('74), creator of Vintage Albany Georgia ... I figured it was time the two of us met face to face, and I was so delighted she was able to join us!   I was also delighted that Janice Hayes McLendon ('55), Frances Wright ('55) Simpson and husband, Roger; Tommy Pattiston ('54); Tom Herrington ('56); Betty Rehberg ('74); Faye McFee Cook ('55) and husband Dan ('54). The picture below to the right adds Dan Cook and Beverly Smith ('55) Herrington.  A great surprise for us was that Dan was able to,  for the first time, be without the use of his wheel chair ... using his seat/walker!!!


We said our goodbyes, got lots of Indian hugs and started our tour of Albany areas. 



First, to 11th Avenue:  The Herrington family ... Tommy ('56) David ('60 ) and Kay Herrington ('62) ...  lived at 1112 11th Avenue.  Neighbors were Nancy Castleberry ('57), Wayne Kennedy ('55), Charlie Foster ('55), Jimmy Farmer and Bob Lewis. 


The Herrington home suffered no damage from the trees that fell.  The driveway entrance, however looked as if the earth pushed up and broke the concrete into pieces.  We met the owner and he was puzzled as to why.  He had been able to have the downed trees taken away ... yet to the West, piles of trees and brush remained.


... 8th & Taft


FSU Squad Car stopped on Taft ... house on this corner facing 8th with untold damage

... Slappey, Turning East on 3rd

McBeth Home in the 60's and 70's

We had heard about the damage to the beautiful oak trees that formed the canopy effect on 3rd and 2nd ... still we were not prepared ...







If I remember correctly, across the street from the Lime Sink is The Kahn's ('55) family home (below).

We drove over to Rawson Circle, which we heard was an area that suffered the most damage ... but it actually looked pretty good, with neat piles of wood waiting for the "pick up" truck So we turned West on 3rd, heading back


 ... toward Slappey and beyond ...






Many took piano lessons from Mrs. Ceil Crouch in this home  - no visable damage!


... Crossing Slappey and Continuing up 3rd



Presently, this is the Albany Home of Governor George D. Busbee.  The house was originally built in 1956, and was the home of Gus and Rachel Spies, and Sonny ('57) and Art Spies ('62)


... Then 3rd Avenue to ... 


1605 Orchard Drive: Neighborhood consisted of ... the Smith Family ... Beverly ('55), Sharon ('58) and Tina ('61). Neighbors were Ben Allison ('55), Dr. McKemie (house in background), Linda Jones ('56), Ted Cahill ('55), Mary Jean Cook ('55), Carol Hallowell ('55), and Ray Ragsdale ('57).



Work on the roof was already in progress.  Tree went through the carport entrance to kitchen, and damage to dining room, and back bedroom suite ... boarded up. 

Mother's precious Rose of Sharon's crushed ...


Several AHS Indians lived one block over ...


Cahill home on left with a huge amount of damage ... next door, Cook home left untouched



Two homes across the street - Jones home (R) showed roof damage, next door the Hallowell (L) only a hole in front yard where tree was uprooted.

The Ragsdale's Home (side entrance straight ahead) - no damage from this view

... LAST STOP ...




It appeared that most damage affected the "standing monuments" both under trees and out in the open; but the flat monuments were not affected ... much to my relief.  Even though Bill Dorough ('69) had emailed me that "all was well" ... it was good to see for myself ! 



I changed the flowers ... said goodbye to Mother, Daddy and little Lukie



 ... and we left for HOME in Lawrenceville!





http://albanyhightimes.com/images/I1%2019mage1.jpg   But ...  for many AHS Indians and other Albanians ... trying times still loom ahead.  We are proud and thankful for the Indians who have given their time and money to help those in distress.  We send our warmest thoughts and prayers for all ...                            




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