We can all be thankful that Burke County was spared the loss of life and injuries in Saturday evening’s tornado that ripped through our area.

My husband, Eddie, and I rode around Sunday morning and afternoon surveying the damage and taking photos.

It was amazing to us how huge trees were uprooted that fell inches short of demolishing homes. I know all of these folks had to be thanking the Almighty that they were spared.

All of the debris is an inconvenience. It will take a lot of man hours to clear the trees and debris, but no one was killed or harmed that we know of. It really was a miracle that no one was killed when you see the devastation.

I spoke with Chuck and Bob at Applewood Golf Course and they, too, said their damage will cause an inconvenience, but they know how lucky they are.

Bob said he was hosting a party of 50 from the area golf association when he received a phone call warning them of a spotted tornado heading in a path which included Applewood Golf Course.

He gathered the guests in a small area near the restroom and as quickly as they sought a more secure shelter the tornado was over and gone and only downed trees and damage to buildings remained.

The beautiful Bradford pear trees in full bloom that lined the entrance to the golf course were clipped in to by the tornado’s fury and left lying in a zigzag pattern on the greens. Shingles and siding were ripped from the clubhouse. The most apparent damage was to the building housing the golf carts. The exterior was completely ripped off, but a repair crew was fast at work Sunday morning to close it in while awaiting insurance adjusters.

Just up from Applewood Golf Course on Alicen Road at the EMA station #7, huge trees were downed on the lawn at the home of Jackey and Nancy Minyard. These were massive pines that took out electric service. Planters EMC was working diligently to get the power restored around 11 a.m. Sunday.

Their home, too, was spared!

When I spoke with Jackey and Nancy they told me their daughter, Alicen, who lives next door, took all of the big yard dogs and brought them into the house. She and the dogs huddled in the bathtub in the downstairs bathroom. The home received minor damages.

Nancy was not home when the tornado struck. She was in South Carolina making funeral arrangements for her father who passed away on Friday.

Nancy is the director for Wimberly House Ministries. My sympathy is extended to her and her family.

I spoke with Tippie Usher out on Hwy. 56. Her homeplace received considerable damage. A chair went through the window in the back of her home. The back porch cover was completely ripped off the house and an outside garage was demolished, but Tippie was fine.

She said she was waiting for Lawrence Welk to come on television when the tornado struck. Sunday morning after church she had a number of friends to stop by to see the damage and to make sure she “did not need anything.”

You know us Southerners ,we always will say, “Do you need anything?” It’s a catch-all phrase to let you know we are available if needed.

Botsford Baptist Church exterior siding looked as though someone had shot holes in it … large holes in continuous patterns along the west side of the sanctuary and fellowship hall.

All in all, I can say Burke County was lucky. There will be no shortage of firewood here!

I want to extend a hearty thanks to all of the EMA workers, law enforcement officers, Planters EMC and Georgia Power workers for helping get us back to normal.


Jesse Palmer III at First National Bank says he wants to sponsor two teams for the May 9-10 Boss Hog state championship cook-off in Waynesboro.

The bank will pay each team’s entry fee and supply them with an extra large grill for the competition.

The only requirement is that one or more team members be regular customers.

Anyone who’s interested should drop by First National or call 706-554-8100.


Congratulations to Margaret Elliott on her retirement. After a couple of near retirements, Margaret officially retired last Friday from many years in the banking business at Capital City Bank.

I hope you enjoy many years of health to go along with your retirement time!

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