RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Clean up at a couple of damaged motels off of exit 348 in Ringgold is just now getting started.
"Its hard for people to put this behind them when they have to look at this everyday," said Ringgold resident Kim Barnes.
Nearly every business on that exit was damaged or destroyed. While a couple have rebuilt and reopened, the motels look as if the tornado just hit.
"As we were driving past here I noticed the damage and I was saying to my wife, there seems to be a lot of construction," said traveler, Bob Newton.
On their way from Canada to Florida, Newton and his wife had to stop in Ringgold after they saw the devastation from the interstate.
"We pulled off here and then when we pulled off here I thought, well my goodness! Are they just tearing these places down or what happened," asked Newton.
That kind of attention prompted the city to take action against five motels that were heavily damaged.
In mid-October, Probate Judge Gene Lowery cited two motel managers and told them they had to begin cleaning up their businesses by the end of November.
Of those five motels, Naren Patel owns four of them. He refused to go into details but did tell Channel 3 that he has not settled with the insurance company.
Section 38-33 of the city's ordinance code states that property owners must comply with the regulations enforced within its jurisdiction. In other words, the 6-month-old trash has to go.
"It's time to do something, I mean they need to get on it and clean it up," Barnes said.
Judge Lowery said the two motel managers will be back in court on November 22. That is also when he will decide whether to start fining them or not.
Law enforcement were out on the roadways making sure it was a safe Labor Day holiday for everyone.
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
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