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WATCH: Valdosta neighbors help each other rebuild after tornado

Southern RV and Truck Center are among those assisting
Posted at 6:31 PM, Feb 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 18:31:11-05
  • A tornado of 120 mph winds hit Lowndes County Sunday.
  • Southern RV and Truck Center are among those assisting people displaced by severe weather.
  • Watch the video to hear how neighbors are helping each other recover.


Lowndes County neighbors are working to help each other after disaster.

"To live through it... to see something as major as a tornado and it be directly in front your face it's still so surreal to me man."

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta.

I'm getting a closer look at the damage an EF-2 tornado left behind and what's ahead for those recovering.

Meet Erick Winston.

He shot this video of Sunday's tornado.

That funnel had 120 mile per hour winds!

You can hear it roaring through his neighborhood.

His first thought when he saw it?

"First glance is... run."

The twister missed his home.

But for others in this area, it's a different story.

"When I first stepped out of the house I can see it ripped the house apart or the trailer part you just see all this debris just fly up in the air and get caught up in the cloud."

Now, debris can be seen throughout the area.

One of the families who had their vacant rental property destroyed did not want to be on camera.

They did tell me they had just finished restoring the trailer after it was damaged by Hurricane Idalia in August.

Now, Southern RV and Truck Center is working to help people forced from their homes.

JJ Hester and Thomas Stewart, the owners, have lived in Valdosta all their lives and opened their shop over a year ago.

They're offering two displaced families a travel trailer to use for one month following the severe weather.

"The best thing about it not being what we're doing we're able to do but the rest of community getting involved."

JJ tells me they're just one of many in Valdosta coming together to offer our neighbors support.

"We had some personal residents offer their place to put this trailer in with them for the time they're staying in it, so it's it's really been a community effort."

If you need aid, or just want to help our neighbors, check out the resources on your screen. In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, ABC27.