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"I have things to be thankful for" - Valdosta neighbors clean up after severe storm damages 30+ homes

Storm winds peaked at 75 mph early Wednesday morning
Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 17:50:50-04
  • After hurricane-force winds blew trees down in neighborhoods across Valdosta, neighbors are making progress on cleaning up.
  • The storm had peak winds of 75 mph Wednesday morning.
  • Watch the video above to see why one man is taking the loss of a tree especially hard.


Major roadways may be clear, but many neighbors still have a long way to go to get their homes back in a livable state.

"When I woke up two nights ago, in my house, to see what was coming out of the blue, I was like 'what on earth is going on?'"

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta. I'm following up with neighbors who are dealing with major damage to their homes for the second time in six months.

If you attended Valdosta State University, you might know Dr. Michael Doll, retired professor. He and his family have lived in his home off of Jerry Jones Road since 2000 and had seen it damaged after Hurricane Idalia. Now, he has to pick up the pieces again.

"Having to deal with this again just a half year later is a bit much, to say the least."

What makes storm clean up extra painful for Dr. Noll is the loss of several trees in his yard, which hold sentimental memories for him.

"The tree they have to take down is a River Birch tree that my wife and I planted it quite a few years ago, and so that's an important treat to me because I lost my wife last year and so, I'm losing our tree."

Dr. Noll and his neighbors aren't the only ones cleaning up.

Despite major intersections like Jerry Jones and North Oak Street Extension being cleared, neighborhoods like Howell Brook Drive, Dellwood Drive and Dogwood Drive are still closed off due to work on downed power lines.


At least 32 homes have seen extensive damage after Wednesday's storm. As Thursday afternoon, 200 neighbors were still without power.

"We're not sure yet we're still getting in some requests from the Emergency Management and the fire department." That's where Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief is stepping in.

Richard Register, incident commander, tells me while there are less neighbors in need this time around, the damage may keep them here for a few days. "So we have to go check out we had planned to be here today and tomorrow and take Easter off and then maybe come back next week we'll see what happens."

Since the GBDR are currently cleaning up his neighborhood, Dr. Noll is keeping a positive outlook.

"Am I mad or sad or do I cry am I going ballistic at times? Yes I do, but I have things to be thankful for including great neighbors good friends or services provided by the city."

The city is reminding neighbors to only have trees trimmed by another resident, commercial trimmer or tree surgeon will not be picked up by the city.