Evacuees returning to Chatham County - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Evacuees returning to Chatham County

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

As residents return to Chatham County, hundreds of evacuees are unloading at the Savannah Civic Center. 

All the people who evacuated from the area this past weekend are now coming back, and everyone we spoke to was excited about it. Dozens of buses rolled up to the Civic Center Tuesday afternoon to unload the people and their belongings. Volunteers from the Salvation Army, the city, the county, and other organizations were on hand to help evacuees unload from school and charter buses onto Chatham Area Transit buses. CAT buses are dropping them off in their neighborhoods or at a shelter if their homes are damaged. Karen Davis recently moved from Chicago, and this was her first hurricane. She says she's happy to be back, but had an okay experience.

"Wasn't too bad. I got a ride down here, so it wasn't so bad at all. I wasn't used to sleeping on cots and everything, so that was an experience. I got a lot of aches and pains, but I got through it, so it was okay," she said. 

“Wonderful. The first thing I’m going to do is unpack. The second thing, take a shower.  The third thing is get into bed and not move until tomorrow,” said Linda Shattls, Evacuated from Civic Center.

Georgia Power says at the height of the storm, 78,000 of its 149,000 customers lost power. Even so, evacuees are happy to be back. 

"Glad to be home. That's the exciting part. Let's hope I got electricity and all that," Davis said. 

That shelter will be set up at Groves High School. The county will also have an emergency operations call center set up for the next two weeks, and City of Savannah residents should call 311 if they have damage or debris. 

"There are some people who are not going to be able to take power because of damage to their home or significant damage to their neighborhood," said Swann Seiler, Manager of Corporate Communications for Georgia Power. 

Georgia Power wouldn't give an estimate on how fast power could be restored but said it could be a couple of days. Crews are working as fast as they can with the help of about 1,000 extra people from states across the country. 

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