Dodge County firefighters hunker down as Irma hits

Monday morning, firefighters in Dodge County say they were prepared to spring into action during the storm, but that was before they realized the wind gusts were too high for even the largest trucks to be on the road. Yvonne Thomas and Nicole Butler hunkered down with the Gresston Volunteer Fire Department as they battled through the storm.

Rushing winds and pelting rain as Hurricane Irma swept through the Peach State. “It looks like it's going to be a while before we get out of here,” said Fire Chief Bob Braswell with the Gresston Volunteer Fire Department. “Winds are picking up now. As you can hear, it's shaking the building.”

The winds were so strong they knocked out power and kept these first stuck inside, unable to help you at home. “It's frustrating, but our safety is important. Unless there’s a life-threatening emergency, then we're going to stay where we are,” said Braswell.

Gresston Fire Chief Brad Braswell kept his crew inside for hours waiting for conditions to improve. Crews weren't the only one's waiting inside. We hunkered down with them for hours. With gear in tow, crews planned ahead, marking every road that had calls of damage. “We discovered back in April when we had a tornado,” said Braswell. “That we went to a whiteboard and just started writing that stuff down.”

But when the big emergency call comes in, no hesitation. There is no waiting around. “We just had one tree down on a house,” said Braswell. “Just hold on.” Help is on the way.

Chief Braswell says one of the emergency calls they took was about a tree that fell inside of a home. He says the family inside --  two adults and one child -- are safe. They are now staying at a safe shelter in Dodge County. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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