Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Atlanta City Council encourages residents to remain vigilant

Members of the Atlanta City Council are joining Mayor Shirley Franklin in encouraging residents to follow the advice of emergency personnel and to allow recovery efforts to continue by staying away from areas hardest hit by Friday night’s F2 tornado and storm.

“We are working to ensure that every victim of last night’s storm has food and shelter and that essential services are restored quickly,” said City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, District, 2. “This storm pushed its way through some of the most historically significant neighborhoods in our city: Vine City, Fairlie-Poplar, Sweet Auburn, and Cabbagetown. We are especially grateful to Atlanta Fire and Rescue, the Atlanta Police Department, and the city's Public Works Department for all that they are doing.”

The tornado left a path of destruction starting from Vine City to the west, through the Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood, along historic Sweet Auburn/Edgewood Avenue, before hopping southeast to Cabbagetown, which is located in District 5.

District 5 City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong said fortunately no lives were lost as result of the severe weather. Archibong represents the Cabbagetown neighborhood as well as the Antoine Graves High Rise at 126 Hilliard Street, which was being evacuated because of structural damage.

The current injury tally is approximately 30 people.

Many homes in the Vine City and Cabbagetown communities have been damaged. The Red Cross (1-866-RC-HELPS) is assisting families that have been displaced.

Four teams of public safety and public works personnel are working severely affected area. More than 350 emergency services personnel, along with hundreds of other emergency workers and volunteers, are also helping.

City officials are also currently accessing several other damaged structures including Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill Lofts at 170 Boulevard.

The Helene S. Mills Senior Center, located at 515 John Wesley Dobbs, has been opened by the Red Cross as a shelter for residents.

A location at 466 Northside Drive NW has been set up as a staging area for District 3 residents impacted by the storm.

Firefighters and police officers continue to work with Public Works and Parks crews to clean up the worst hit areas.

The performance of Fannie Lou Hamer: “This Little Light” scheduled for today at 3 p.m. at the Georgia Pacific Auditorium, hosted by District 3 City Councilmember Ivory Lee Young Jr., has been canceled due to extensive damage caused by last night’s storm.

“This is truly devastating for the residents of my district and the entire city,” Young said, who represents neighborhoods near the Georgia Dome and other affected neighborhoods. “We are asking residents to exercise caution and safety.”

Young and Hall have been assessing the extensive damage sustained in their respected council districts and seeking assistance for the impacted residents.
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