DOUGHERTY COUNTY, Ga. - Governor Nathan Deal plans to visit Dougherty County Wednesday. There’s devastation across the county from a tornado that struck Sunday afternoon. Four people in the county were killed, and a desperate search is underway for a missing 2-year old boy.
At the Piney Woods mobile home park where the boy lived, there are piles of rubble and smashed cars where homes once stood. Kevian Green said he and his family were huddled together in their home, when the tornado ripped it in half.
“Everything happened at one time, windows busted out, the roof lifted up, the wall fell in. It was rough, it was scary,” said Green.
When it was over, Kevian said his son, Detrez, was missing.
The child's mother, Adijah Rainer, said Detrez slipped away from her right at the storm hit. She said he was last seen walking through the kitchen area towards the back door. Rainer said she did not see the boy leaving the home or being swept away by the storm, but the kitchen area was completely destroyed when a large oak tree fell through it.
“We tried to look for him but we didn’t hear or see anything,” said Green.
Slowly and methodically search crews have been going through the area around the Green home, hoping to find Detrez.
“We got five teams out and we’re working 100 meter blocks,” said Lance Skalla with Albany-Dougherty Search and Rescue.
Due to the dense brush, crews are cutting paths into the debris to clear a way for cadavers and dogs to search the area.
Nicole Terrar lives nearby and raced over to join the search when she heard a child was missing.
“It’s heartbreaking to know a little boy is missing,” said Terrar.
While this search is focusing on the little boy, across the county other searches are underway checking for anyone who might be trapped. That includes going through the rubble at the Paradise Village mobile home park on Holly Road. The coroner said three of the four people who died in the storm lived there.
Tuesday, Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said she has travelled some of the worst hit areas and said there’s damage from one end of the county to the other.
“Our city and county has had mass devastation and people are hurting, but people are also willing to help us,” said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.
Charles Martin’s home was damaged, but he said he knows what’s important. Tuesday morning he was out with the search crews looking for Detrez.
“We all need to get out and help. We’re all neighbors and we’re all in this together,” said Martin.