Georgia storms: ‘Rain was coming in because the winds tore half the roof’

ADEL, Ga. — Billy Woods, his mom and his two young children were asleep when the deadly storm struck.

“It was like something hit the house,” said Woods, 42, of the high winds that hit Sunshine Acres Mobile Home Park early Sunday. “Water started coming through the ceiling. I grabbed my kids and laid on top of them till it was over.”

The rain was coming in because the winds had torn off half the roof. The moment was terrifying, but it would get worse. Outside, much of the trailer park had been destroyed. At least seven people died.

In the front yard, Woods said, he found the body of one of those victims.

“The guy in the front yard, we didn’t know him, and I couldn’t make him out,” he said.

Woods said the body was naked and bloody.

Woods, a single father with two young children, a son, 5, and a daughter, 4, had moved in with his mother about six months ago and was in the process of buying a house, he said. No one in the family was injured.

“It was rumbling and it’s loud and you’re afraid,” he told the AJC.

The whole experience was over in two minutes, Woods said. Nearly 12 hours later, he stood just a hundred yards or so from his damaged home, but the authorities on the scene wouldn’t let him go back to it. He said his children were very upset and wanted to come back and get their stuff.

“I just thank God,” he said. “It could’ve been worse.”

As he spoke, though, the wind was picking up. There was more violent weather in the forecast.


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