Firefighters rescue elderly, disabled residents stuck nearly 24 hours after tornado

Nearly 24 hours after an EF-3 tornado ripped through Spalding County, some elderly and disabled residents were still stuck in their homes Friday afternoon.

"We are crawling up under the wires to take food and water to them," said Joycelyn Collier, whose 71-year-old mom was among those still stuck in her damaged home on Dale Drive.

The downed wires, tree limbs, and debris made it difficult for the disabled seniors to get to safety. Collier’s mother and her two aunts were in the cold with no water, no heat, and sunlight peeking through their roof where two trees had come crashing down.

"My main focus is just trying to get my mom out, get my aunts, get them to safety," said Jaclyn Collier, Joycelyn’s sister. "We’re hoping that they can take them through the woods and get them to safety, or we can figure something out."

The two sisters flagged down a Spalding County firefighter, who assessed the situation and then called for backup.

"My mom is just calling, asking us how long. I told her we’re here," Joycelyn said.

Moments later, a group of firefighters arrived, then delicately helped the seniors to the end of their block.

Once they got to a downed power line, the firefighters carried them up and over, one by one.

The sisters could not be more thankful that their mom and two aunts were now with them.

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Firefighters in Griffin go door-to-door to make sure all the residents are OK the day after a strong tornado moved through on Jan. 13, 2023. (FOX 5)

"My heart goes out to everyone that’s affected," Joycelyn said. "Everyone’s been warm, kind, and generous."

The two sisters planned on driving the three seniors to one of their houses, which was not as badly damaged.

Although they were cold, none of them were hurt.

Emergency officials have been busy over the past 24 hours, checking on residents hit hard by the storm.

Late Thursday evening, firefighters pulled man from a home after a tree trapped him for three hours.

His family says his pelvis was crushed and may have some spinal injuries, but he was up and talking in the hospital.