Monday, March 17, 2008

Stunned on Saturday in Atlanta

By Ted Anibal, assistant editor, Dental Economics

Jennifer M. Riggs is the Front Desk Coordinator for the Peachtree Smile Center located at 2045 Peachtree Road in Atlanta. She was scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. Continuing Education course on Saturday at the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting held at the Georgia World Congress Center downtown. Riggs had not listened to news broadcasts that morning nor heard any warning sirens when the tornado hit on Friday night. She discovered the devastation firsthand as she approached the downtown area and was repeatedly detoured by police barricades. Riggs never made it to the GWCC, and became very concerned about her office and the safety of her co-workers. As she was attempting to navigate the downtown streets strewn with broken glass and debris, a friend called Riggs’ cell phone to check on her safety. At that point, Riggs pulled into a church parking lot near the State Capitol and wept as she was finally overcome by the extent and severity of the tornado damage. Riggs reported that she made it out of the downtown area safely and confirmed that her office and co-workers were safe. This morning (Monday, March 17), Riggs was on the job fielding phone calls from patients who sustained injuries or damage to their homes and must reschedule their dental appointments.