PEMBROKE, Ga. (WSAV) – Bryan County is still recovering after last year’s tornado that brought winds up to 200 miles per hour and busted through neighborhoods, a public park and a few public administrative buildings.
“They did quite a bit of damage,” said Matthew Kent, the county’s communication manager. “I think we’re looking at a $19 million insurance claim.”
Kent says luckily, citizens won’t be seeing their taxes go up to rebuild their community, since they were insured for 98% of the damages.
He says Hendrix Park, which was leveled by the tornado, is now partially complete, with brand-new fencing and ball fields.
In downtown Pembroke, public works employees are working out of trailers while their offices are being completed. Kent says the administration building will reopen towards the end of the year.
“We’re in the final stages with drywall and ceiling and kind of getting furniture back into that building, so we’re very excited that that building is almost done,” said Kent.
As for the courthouse, that’ll take a little longer. With a fallen tree causing massive damage last year, it’ll be closer to next Christmas before we see that completed.
“Typically, this area would not have seen a tornado,” said Kent.
In the possibility of another hit among weather changes, Kent says Bryan County’s emergency plan hasn’t changed much as far as tornadoes or hurricanes go.
“We try to be consistent when we’re following an emergency plan whether it’s a tornado or a hurricane,” said Kent. “We want to make sure that we’re consistent and also that when we see something that works. When we see something that doesn’t work we’re updating our plan moving forward.”