MACON, Georgia (WGMT/41NBC) - The Mother's Day Tornados sent middle Georgia into panic mode in 2008. The storms leveled houses and ripped trees out of the ground. Although the Tornadoes swept through the area quickly, lessons from the devastation continue to this day.
Macon-Bibb County EMA Director, Don Druitt, presented his Debris Removal Plan to Macon's Public Safety Committee Monday and the group approved the plan.
"It's a plan that will help us move much more smoothly through the debris recovery process," said Druitt.
When a storm hits, lives are the first priority.
"Once we move from the recovery phase, where we're looking for people who may be injured, we start doing an assessment of where all the damage is within the county," said Druitt.
From there, EMA will remove, collect, and reclaim debris. Knowing how to utilize debris, and especially downed trees, is something the city learned the hard way after the Mother's Day Tornadoes of 2008.
"One of the mistakes we made during that time is that we didn't place a sign of value to it and essentially gave away a whole lot of mulch because we were very concerned about getting everything cleaned up," said Macon City Councilman, Virgil Watkins.
Watkins says knowing the value of the debris will put the city in a better posture for negotiating with removal companies in the future. The Mother's Day storms helped Druitt establish the new plan to create faster response times.
"Crews have been trained. There have been debris removal routes identified. We have some electronic mapping available now, where we'll look at an overall view of where that damage is and then we'll send those teams out and verify the damage and then start the recovery process," said Druitt.
The Debris Removal Plan will be voted on by full council next week, if approved, the Bibb County Commissioners will have to okay the plan.