Effingham County EMA, local non-profits assisting residents post Irma

Effingham Emergency Management will resume normal operations Thursday September 14 (Credit:Robert Catanese)

The Effingham County Emergency Operations Center closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and will resume normal operations Thursday, Sept. 14. However, that hasn’t stopped the flood of resources and help they have been providing to the community.

Chearae Warner is the Deputy Director of Effingham 911. She says things have quieted down since Irma blew through.

“We didn't know what to expect when 911 calls came in but now it's a much calmer atmosphere,” said Warner.

Officials say now that storm has passed, 911 calls have picked up in a different way.

Jay Spinks is the Effingham County 911 Director. He says crews are spread out across the area providing assistance to those in need.

“Power outages, trees down, people having difficulty with their medical equipment. EMA is still out in the field and Georgia power is still in the county,” said Spinks.

With hundreds still in the dark Wednesday night and wondering about power, officials say calling 911 is not the answer.

“We have no control over the power outages. They need to contact their utility company for that. You're taking resources away from true emergencies by calling,” said Spinks.

Officials say call 911 for emergencies, but also if you witness dangerous situations throughout the county.

“If citizens spot trees down on power lines or transformers arcing or sparking, yes, please call 911 for that,” said Spinks.

Effingham County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) is for anyone who may need help with damage to their home or property.

All services are free and will be in place until Sept. 30. Residents are urged to call 1-800-451-1954.

Pastor Randy Mosley of Springfield United Methodist Church has opened his doors to those who need a helping hand.

“If anybody's without power and they need a place to come take a shower, need a place to come hang out for a little while just to get out of the mix of everything they are more than welcome to come here, we will be providing lunch again tomorrow,” said Mosley.

The following local non-profits are available to assist Effingham residents:

Springfield United Methodist Church, 210 Cleveland St, Springfield, GA, 31329

  • Hot meals and showers available (must bring own toiletries)
  • Thursday (9/14) Noon - 2 p.m.

Manna House of Rincon, 1210 Patriot Dr., Rincon, GA, 31326

  • Thrift store and food pantry
  • Thursday (9/14) 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Effingham County-Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)

  • Anyone with damage to their home/property can register with the VOAD for help
  • All services are free (chainsaw work, debris cleanup, mucking out) but limited by demand
  • Register by calling 1-800-451-1954
  • Continuing until Sept. 30, 2017