TIFTON, Ga. (WTXL) - From the first week of January through Thursday, Georgia DOT employees have removed more than 1,724 dump truck loads of storm debris from state routes in Baker, Brooks, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Mitchell, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox and Worth counties.
Albany Area Assistant Maintenance Engineer Jerry Smith knew the black clouds he saw rolling across state Route 133 on Jan. 22 were a bad sign.
Crews were faced with massive downed oak trees that were so large they had to be loaded by section onto a lowboy trailer.
Georgia DOT had excavators, but had to rent a larger one to remove some of the debris, Smith said.
The tornado also caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to signs and obliterated traffic signals.
“One of our big I-beam signs on U.S. 19 was twisted all the way around like it was a toothpick,” District Sign Manager Darrell Braswell said.
Officials say they expect to be finished by the end of next week.