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Red Cross Busy as More Storms Hit Georgia
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Stuart Hales
March 16, 2008

Severe weather struck Atlanta and northern Georgia for a second straight day on Saturday, keeping Red Cross disaster relief volunteers busy providing shelter, assessment, and health and mental health services.

Damage from storms that devastated northern Georgia and western South Carolina is still being assessed. (Photo courtesy wsbtv.com.)
Damage from storms that devastated northern Georgia and western South Carolina is still being assessed. (Photo courtesy wsbtv.com.)

The Red Cross opened three shelters in Georgia last night and another in South Carolina and is conducting disaster assessment activities today in both states. Heavy storms, some of which may have spawned tornadoes, blew down trees, tore roofs off homes and buildings, downed power lines, and shattered windows.

More than 50,000 people were without power at daybreak today, and Red Cross disaster assessment teams were fanning out to determine where assistance is most needed. The combination of strong wind, heavy rain, hail, and lightning left few homes unscathed, and extensive damage was reported in several counties.

The Red Cross is providing mobile feeding across much of northern Georgia and is distributing comfort and clean-up kits. Red Cross health and mental health experts are also on the scene to assist storm survivors, particularly those who were forced to seek shelter.

Friday night, a tornado packing winds of up to 135 miles per hour swept through downtown Atlanta and some of its suburbs, injuring at least 25 people. The twister damaged several landmark structures in the city's business district, tore the roof off an apartment building, uprooted trees in residential neighborhoods, and left tens of thousands of residents without electricity.

Georgia and South Carolina residents affected by the storms are encouraged to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well List to inform family and friends of their status. People with loved ones in the affected areas can also use the site to inquire about their safety.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters at home and abroad, collects and distributes nearly half of the nation's blood supply, teaches lifesaving skills, and supports military members and families. The American Red Cross, a charity and not a government agency, depends on voluntary contributions of time, money and blood to perform its humanitarian mission.

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