published Friday, April 29th, 2011

Sheriff says some Ringgold residents could be allowed back in town today

by Andy Johns

Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers said some Ringgold residents and business owners could be allowed back to their homes and businesses as early as this morning.

County officials said anyone searching for a missing person should call 706.965.7138 or 7139.

The sheriff said search teams could not discover any new victims overnight but continue searching throughout the day, focusing on business areas.

He said all known missing persons have reconnected with family members and all but one of the eight people killed have been positively identified.

All of the deceased are locals, according to the sheriff.

Summers said the identities of the victims will be released at a news conference later today.

County Manager Mike Helton said 200 electrical workers will work in the city today and emergency workers will start identifying owners of abandoned vehicles near the I-75 interchange.

Ringgold Councilman Randall Franks said the city's water plant is back on line but said residentds should continue boiling water.

Franks urged patience among residents but said the city is "resilient" and "commited to rebuilding"

"It is going to be a tremendous effort, " Franks said. "It's going to take a lot of work to bring Ringgold back."

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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