As rescuers continue to comb through the rubble left in the wake of Hurricane Michael, 11 people have officially been declared dead as a result of the catastrophic storm — among them 11-year-old Sarah Radney, who had traveled to Southwestern Georgia just this week to visit her grandparents.
Speaking to The New York Times, the girl’s father, Roy Radney, said he had told his father he should continue evacuating but that he had insisted his modular home had been built to be capable of withstanding 150-mile-per-hour winds. He called regularly as the storm hit on Wednesday, and at first it seemed like everything was going to be fine. But then he got a call from his brother, who told him that Sarah was on the verge of death after being struck in the head by a portable carport that punctured through the house and struck Sarah and her grandmother. The grandmother was left with a punctured lung and a broken rib, while Sarah gasped for air for 45 minutes to an hour before passing away. It took an estimated six hours for medical workers to cut through enough of the fallen trees blocking the roads to get to the home.
— Ryan Kruger (@Ryan11Alive) October 12, 2018
“Last night was just hell,” said Radney, a resident of Cairo, Georgia. “I’m an hour and a quarter away, and my daughter’s dying, and I can’t do anything about it. I can’t think of anything that is more related to hell than that.”
“I want people to know, man, when they say, ‘Get out of your house’ — leave your house, listen to them. When they say, ‘No first responder is going to be able to get to you’ — they’re not joking,” Radney continued.
Sarah, he said, had been an honor student and band member with a love of acting. Her dancing and singing, he said, had been the light of his life. His 12-year-old son, he added, was also at the house and witnessed his sister’s death.
“It’s going to be pretty dark without her,” said Radney.
Read the full story at The New York Times.