BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — Rebuilding efforts continue in Bryan County five months after a deadly tornado tore through the area, destroying homes, businesses and county facilities.
The EF-4 tornado, with winds reaching as high as 185 miles per hour, destroyed nearly two dozen homes and left one resident dead. The tornado in April is considered the strongest one to ever hit the Coastal Empire.
Multiple county facilities were damaged in the tornado’s path, including the Bryan County courthouse, administrative building, jail complex and the Hendrix Park gym and fields.
The courthouse is getting a new roof to prevent further damage to the inside of the building, according to communications director Matthew Kent. There is already water damage inside as a result of the roof getting torn off and it will require new plumbing and electrical services.
At Hendrix Park, some of the fields are back open but the gym was torn down and a new one is set to be built.
“Hendrix Park is the major park in the Ellabell, Pembroke area for recreation, so that’s what we’ve been hearing the most about: let’s get the park back up and running,” Kent said. “And that’s kind of been the first focus, getting that multi-purpose field back together, getting the baseball fields back together.”
The county’s administrative building was also destroyed. All county offices are being housed in temporary trailers near the building as repairs continue.
Kent said the county is expecting most of the repairs to be completed by the end of 2023, but the Hendrix Park gym may not be finished until 2024.
“Our progress, I think, has been fantastic,” Kent said. “There’s other places such as Albany, Georgia or places that were impacted by hurricanes, they’re still in recovery years later. We’re extremely happy to see this coming back you know within a year, year and a half of the damage is an extremely fast timeline.”
For residents whose homes were damaged, Kent said there is still some money available from the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Disaster Recovery Fund. Click or tap here for more information.