Hall County residents stay positive despite Irma damage

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Michael and Teresa Ross were both in their house on Monday when a large tree crashed into their roof. It caused significant damage, but standing outside on Tuesday, they counted their blessings.

"Thank the Good Lord," said Teresa Ross. "It could've been a lot worse. It's bad, it's not pretty, but it could've been a lot worse."

The Ross family lives in Gainesville, and they are one of many in Hall County affected by the remnants of Hurricane Irma passing through. Strong winds knocked down lots of trees, many of them tall, taking down power lines, wrecking cars and damaging homes.

"We stayed up all night long taking buckets of water out [of our house]," said Teresa Ross.

Just down the road from the Ross' house, neighbors had to cut up a tree that had blocked a road, keeping people from leaving the neighborhood.

"These trees were across [the road], the power lines were down," said Stuart Rosenberg. "Everybody in the neighborhood got together and cut them down. It was a mess, finally, we got through. We'd been stranded since 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon."

Rosenberg and his son Nicholas helped clean up the mess with chainsaws Tuesday morning after a long night where Nicholas slept in the basement to be safe.

"I heard cracking," said Nicholas. "It was scary because you don't know which trees are going to fall."

The northern and eastern parts of Hall County seemed to be the most affected. Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield was driving around the county assessing the damage. Ultimately, the school system decided to have "school from home" on Wednesday with materials students can access online. School was canceled Monday and Tuesday.

"Eighteen years being the superintendent, I've never called school in September before, so that's a first," said Schofield.

For the people facing possibly lengthy repairs, the focus is on getting back to normal.

"Pray that we can get it fixed and it's salvageable," said Teresa Ross. "We can move back home."

MORE: Irma's impact in Georgia