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Milledgeville cleaning up after straight-line windstorm

MILLEDGEVILLE – Power is back on and cleanup continues in the wake of Tuesday's straight-line windstorm that toppled trees, broke power lines and tore siding off several homes in this village of about 900.

The winds that accompanied the rain blew threw town at speeds of 60 to 70 mph, the National Weather Service said.

"About 20 truck and 10 endloaders have been working to pick up the large trees and debris the storm left," Carroll County Emergency Services Coordinator Greg Miller said.

"Also, about 36 power line poles needed to be replaced after the damage was evaluated, but if not everyone, then mostly all power has been restored."

The storm, which hit around 3:30 p.m, came fast without warning and left just as quickly.

"Our renter called us during the storm and said she was about to take cover from the wind, and just like that it was over," said Tuesdai Harris, who was in Coleta at the time, but has spent the last 2 days picking up leaves and branches at the home she owns on West Fifth Street.

"It was an absolute mess," Harris said.

And scary.

Seventy-six-year-old Air Force veteran John K. Helms was heading home after a trip to the hardware store when he made a left and two big limbs, still attached to a part of their tree, came crashing down on his maroon Ranger.

The roof of the maroon pickup collapsed, hitting him on the head and totaling his truck.

"I thought, 'Is the the way I'm going to go?' I was scared to death," Helms said Thursday.

He wasn't seriously injured, but he was trapped until Haylee Wilk kicked out the smashed driver's side window and unlocked the door.

Helping each other has been the post-storm norm.

"There was a man from Forreston who came into town to help clean up a bunch of heavy branches on our roof that we needed help taking off," Harris said. "But now, we're just picking up the smaller pieces."

He was paying it forward, reciprocating help he received when Milledgeville residents helped him clean up after a storm, she said.

"It's just nice how people help around here."

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