May 16, 2021

A message of thanks from Franklin Mayor Kevin Hayes

Press Release from Franklin Mayor Kevin Hayes:

As the assessment and recovery phase continues in the City of Franklin, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every individual, business, group, and state agency that has contributed to the cleanup efforts in our community.

The impact of the tornado that wreaked havoc on our city late Thursday evening is undeniably one of the most devastating events to occur in Franklin history.

A lot of things changed for a lot of people that night and the complete cleanup and recovery will be a lengthy process.

One thing that has not changed is our sense of community. From the moment I arrived on the square in Franklin Friday morning around 5:00 AM it was an absolute disaster area and the thought of where to begin was overwhelming.

Shortly thereafter, I started receiving calls back-to-back from residents, businesses, churches, and volunteers asking what we needed.

By the time the sun began to rise, people were showing up in droves with chain saws, tractors, excavators, etc. ready to go to work. The last few days have been chaotic to say the least, but when the cavalry arrived in Franklin it was an awe-inspiring sight.

A special thanks is in order to our neighbors in Troup County as well. Troup County Government made contact with myself and newly-elected councilman Dion Senn and in a couple of hours had mobilized three complete crews of employees and equipment to assist us in any way we needed.

Additionally, they provided us with needed gravel for the designated debris dump-site and Troup Hauling delivered it for free.

Equal recognition and thanks are in order for Chief Kevin Hannah and the staff at the Franklin Police Department for keeping citizens, volunteers, and workers safe, delivering water and meals all day long, and working closely with power and utility crews, GDOT, and others in maintaining safe road environments while services were being restored.

Chief Wirth of Heard County Emergency Services has provided invaluable resources to us throughout this process and his knowledge of emergency procedures and protocols has made this disaster much easier to manage.

Sheriff Ross Henry and his staff have been ready and willing to assist the City of Franklin in any way needed throughout this recovery as well and we are extremely grateful for that relationship.

The Heard County Roads Department was extremely helpful on Friday as we began to mitigate the debris and we absolutely value their contribution as well.

To all the churches, businesses, and volunteers who have donated money, food, services, and manpower over the last few days, please know none of it went un-noticed.

The coordination efforts over the last several days have been all-consuming and I am eternally thankful for all of the resources local volunteers have provided. It is great to be reminded in such a big way how we are committed to one another in Heard County and the City of Franklin.

As we move forward, I’d like to remind people that if you received property damage please make Heard County Emergency Services aware by calling 706-675-6186.

All of the data is compiled by Georgia Emergency Management and will be taken into consideration for disaster mitigation strategies.

City Hall has reopened so if anyone has questions or needs assistance please call us at 706-675-6623.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has provided support to those in need during this time.

We look forward to having our city fully restored as quickly as possible and without the dedication and loyalty we have in our community it would not be possible.

Mayor Kevin Hayes

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