BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – Hurricane Michael brought unexpected damage to Bainbridge, Ga., carrying Category 3 strength winds over 100 miles from the shore, uprooting trees, knocking out power and disrupting water and wastewater service.
“Bainbridge Georgia looks like a war zone. It may be several days before you see someone to help just please bear with us,” George McMillan, of Bainbridge Public Safety, wrote in a post shared on Facebook.
The hurricane knocked out all power to the city, including to the water utility and sewer system.
“We have 49 sewer lift stations, hence you see the need for generators,” said Chris Hobby, Bainbridge City Manager.
The Georgia Rural Water Association was the first organization to arrive on-site to provide assistance to Bainbridge. They brought emergency generators to help restore both water and wastewater service.
“Our entire city had lost all electrical power,” Hobby said “GRWA was the first on-site. The brought numerous generators.”
These included a high capacity generator that allowed the utility to operate its water treatment and pressurize the distribution system.
“Our drinking water treatment operations also a large generator,” Hobby said. “We were able to pump and maintain pressure. This relieved our fire safety concerns also.”
Georgia Rural Water’s fast response to Bainbridge and surrounding counties drew praise and appreciation.
“I wish to express our sincere thanks for the quick response and assistance provided by Georgia Rural Water Association,” Hobby said.
“I wish to thank the Georgia Rural Water Association for their rapid Emergency Response and Professional Technical Assistance,” added Dean Burke, a member of the Georgia Senate and former mayor of Bainbridge. “They spent night and day helping the community water systems in the storm-stricken counties of Decatur, Seminole, Early, Miller, and Mitchell. The GRWA folks connected numerous generators, providing power to pump clean drinking water, treatment of wastewater, and assuring a fire problem didn’t exist.”