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United Way looking for volunteers willing to help after the storm

Strong winds begin to take down trees, bring down limbs

City work crews in high winds and heavy rain to remove a branch that fell from a tree at the corner of 9th Street and Second Avenue near the Columbus Government Center.
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City work crews in high winds and heavy rain to remove a branch that fell from a tree at the corner of 9th Street and Second Avenue near the Columbus Government Center.

The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley has begun asking for citizens to consider ways they might be able to help their neighbors once Tropical Storm Irma moves out of the area and cleanup efforts begin.

“Right now, we have our evacuees well taken care of. But what’s going to happen to our own neighbors when they need help?,” said Candace Poole, 2-1-1 Manager at the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

Once the storm is over, authorities anticipate snapped branches, downed trees and tumbled power lines. The cleanup effort could be extensive, and Georgia Power has warned customers to be prepared for a multi-day recovery effort to the power grid.

That means it will be important for everyday citizens to come together and see how they can help, Poole said.

“Once the events over, we’ll start listing ways where people can access help, and we’re already getting calls from people both who need help and who want to help,” she said. “Anything we can find out today about who would be willing to help, who could step in if they need it, that’s what we need to know today.”

That could mean if you have a chainsaw, truck, tarp or other items or services you could lend to those in need.

Poole said she was building a list of people who could be called if they’re needed to help after the storm is over.

“If people can help, the best thing to do is to email me at info@211uwcv.org. Someone from our office will always be checking that email,” Poole said. You can send your name, information and what kind of help you’d be willing to provide if needed.

Until then, Poole said it was important to stay safe and sheltered until the storm is over.

“The Red Cross does not want any deliveries today. We want people to be safe. “We know this is a generous community, and they want to help, but they do need to think of their own family first.”

Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE

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