In addition to responding to storm-related issues throughout the city, City of Valdosta department personnel were also some of the first responders on scene following the tragic tornado that hit Cook County on Jan. 22.
Valdosta Police Department personnel arrived early on scene in Cook County with their Mobile Crime Lab, which included several crime scene employees and VPD officers who assisted in searching for citizens. The team offered their resources until cleanup mode began.
The Valdosta Fire Department also sent the Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR) vehicle to Cook County at 6 a.m. with six VFD employees who worked tirelessly to stabilize buildings and locate citizens. The team was deactivated at 2:30 p.m. Since then, a tornado has reportedly touched down in Albany, Ga., and the GSAR team has been activated and is in route to assist the Albany community.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors in Cook County," said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle. "It is our responsibility to share our resources with each other in great times of need; and as always, we were glad to assist where and when needed. We pray for those in Berrien and Brooks Counties who have lost loved ones and for everyone who has been impacted by the storm and its damage."
City department personnel have also been canvassing streets and responding to various issues in the city limits. Several expected storm-related incidents were reported during the day, however, none impeded traffic or normal operations.
- All city streets are open. A few traffic lights were down periodically and have since been repaired by Engineering Department staff.
- Several trees and limbs were moved out of city right of ways. Public Works crews have responded by cutting trees limbs in preparation for removal during the week ahead.
- Fire department personnel responded to downed power lines, safely securing areas until Georgia Power arrived.
- The Water Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plants have been operating efficiently. A few lift stations lost power during the storm, but they have since been restored or are on generators.
Another round of severe weather is impacting our area this afternoon. Valdosta citizens are urged, as always, to heed to all Lowndes County Emergency Management warnings and to be sure they are receiving Code Red alerts via their phones.
City department crews will continue to canvass the area. Citizens are urged to report non-emergency weather-related issues by calling 229-333-1832 or by using the Valdosta Click N Fix app, located at www.valdostacity.com