BREAKING: Gov. Deal declares state of emergency for seven South Central Georgia counties | We'll have LIVE at Noon pic.twitter.com/SSHS56H7W4
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) January 22, 2017
Severe weather killed at least 11 people and injured 23 others overnight in portions of southern Georgia, the state’s Emergency Management Agency said on Sunday.
Catherine Howden, a spokesperson for the agency, told the Associated Press the deaths took place in Cook, Brooks and Berrien counties. Tornado warnings had been issued for the region on Saturday, though Howden did not specify whether they caused the deaths.
— Georgia EM&HS (@GeorgiaEMA) January 22, 2017
Of the 11 confirmed fatalities, seven took place in Cook County, where injured patients were transferred from the cities of Adel and Tifton to area hospitals.
Calls for comment on Sunday from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency were not immediately returned. But Cook County Coroner Tim Purvis told the BBC that more than half of 40 mobile homes were destroyed in Adel. Brooks County Coroner Michael Miller said two people were killed when a mobile home there was destroyed by a tornado.
The National Weather Service said on Saturday that “a severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak” were expected to strike north Florida and south Georgia. On Sunday, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes continued across portions of the south, including Florida and South Carolina. Reports of downed trees, damaged homes and flooding were prevalent.
Four more people were killed early on Saturday in Mississippi after a 25-mile-wide tornado with winds of more than 136 mph barreled through parts of the state. At least 50 people were reported injured.
Saturday’s storm also hit Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina, causing flooding, power outages and damaged homes.
“The total debris clean-up will be weeks at this point,” said Lee Smithson, of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.