• 'The devastation is incredible': Tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama, damage homes in Georgia

    By: Severe Weather Team 2

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - At least 23 people have died after powerful tornadoes ripped through Alabama, leaving behind a path of destruction across the southeast.

    Georgia's governor declared a State of Emergency on Monday for three Georgia counties -- Harris, Talbot and Grady -- that were hit hard by the severe storms.

    Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologists Katie WallsEboni Deon and Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant traveled to Talbot County, Georgia, where a tornado's powerful winds destroyed many homes and apartments and snapped trees in half. Seven people were injured.

    [PHOTOS: Widespread damage in Talbot County after tornado rips through]

    Photos sent to the Channel 2 Action News newsroom show debris from strong wind gusts and heavy rain knocking out power lines. 

    Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said preliminary reports show there were likely at least 14 different tornadoes that touched down in Georgia, Alabama and Florida on Sunday, leaving catastrophic damage in many areas.

    [RELATED: Here's where tornado damage was reported from yesterday's storms]

    In Alabama, rescuers are out in full force Monday, tearing through the rubble of mobile homes and houses in search of survivors.

    Channel 2's Chris Jose traveled to Lee County, Alabama where 23 people died. Lee County deputies called the county the hardest hit area in the state. On Monday evening, utility crews were working to restore power in neighborhoods before the sun set.

    The National Weather Service has teams spread across all three states surveying the damage.

    MONDAY'S LIVE UPDATES BELOW:

    6:20 p.m.

    Channel 2's Chris Jose spoke with survivors in Lee County dealing with the aftermath.

    [WATCH: Tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama, damage homes in Georgia]

    6:00 p.m.

    So far, preliminary reports from survey crews with the National Weather Service show more than a dozen tornadoes touched down on Sunday. Here's the full list:

    • EF-1 tornado near Tuskegee, AL
    • EF-2 tornado in Leon County, FL
    • At least EF-2 damage in Talbot and Harris counties
    • EF-2 tornado in Ellerslie, GA (may be same tornado as above)
    • EF-2 tornado in Cairo, GA
    • EF-2 tornado in Crawford County, GA (became EF-1 tornado in Peach County, GA)
    • EF-4 tornado in Lee County, AL
    • EF-1 tornado in Pine Mountain, GA
    • EF-1 tornado in Twiggs County, GA
    • Tornado in Washington County, AL
    • EF-1 tornado in Davisboro, GA
    • EF-1 tornado in Washington County, GA
    • EF-1 tornado in Barbour County, AL
    • At least EF-1 tornado in Eufala, AL

    5:30 p.m.

    The National Weather Service says four tornadoes are now confirmed in central Alabama.

    5:15 p.m.

    As of 5 p.m. Monday evening, these tornadoes have been confirmed by the NWS, according to Severe Weather Team 2:

    • EF-1 tornado near Tuskegee, AL
    • EF-2 tornado in Leon County, FL
    • At least EF-2 damage in Talbot and Harris counties
    • EF-2 tornado in Cairo, GA
    • EF-2 tornado in Crawford County, GA (became EF-1 tornado in Peach County, GA)
    • EF-4 tornado in Lee County, AL
    • EF-1 tornado in Pine Mountain, GA
    • EF-2 tornado in Ellerslie, GA
    • EF-1 in Twiggs County, GA
    • Tornado confirmed in Washington County, AL

    4:45 p.m.

    Channel 2's Aaron Diamant is in the car with Gov. Brian Kemp as he surveys the damage in Talbot County.

    2:45 p.m.

    NewsChopper 2 flies over east Alabama and west Georgia to show viewers how far the tornado damage reaches.

    2:30 p.m.

    “This was the deadliest tornado in the United States since the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado in 2013,” Chris Darden, the meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service's Birmingham field office, said Monday at a news conference. 

    2:20 p.m.

    Officials said three children were among those killed by the powerful tornado that ripped through western Alabama packing winds of up to 170 mph, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

    2:00 p.m.

    National Weather Service in Birmingham confirms EF-4 tornado responsible for deaths, devastation in Lee County, Alabama.

    1:45 p.m.

    Channel 2's Aaron Diamant obtains new information about the Georgia storms.

    12:56 p.m.

    Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said a fifth tornado has been confirmed:

    12:47 p.m.

    Gov. Brian Kemp spoke at the Capitol before he headed to tour the storm damage in west central Georgia. Kemp declared a state of emergency for three counties earlier Monday. 

    12:37 p.m.

    The National Weather Service confirms that at least a EF-2 tornado damage in Talbot and Harris counties.

    12:33 p.m.

    The National Weather Service has confirmed at least three tornadoes as crews are accessing the damage across the southeast. 

    11:35 a.m.

    NewsChopper 2 is headed to the scene of the devastation and will be following these paths provided by Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan. Stay with Channel 2 Action News throughout the day for LIVE updates.

    10:55 a.m.

    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declares State of Emergency for three Georgia counties.

    10:15 a.m.

    National Weather Service crews surveying Talbot County tornado now.

    10:13 a.m. 

    Survey crews for the National Weather Service in Birmingham send back information suggesting a "high-end EF-1" tornado in Macon County, just west of Lee County, where 23 people were killed.

    9:45 a.m.

    The National Weather Service in Tallahassee and Birmingham say their crews are out surveying damage from yesterday's storms.

    8:45 a.m.

    Georgia's governor plans to declare a state of emergency in three counties hit by tornadoes. The governor’s office said Monday that Gov. Brian Kemp will declare emergencies in Grady, Harris and Talbot counties, and that more could be added as emergency officials report back. The declarations free up state resources to respond to the disaster.

    8:10 a.m.

    Lee County Sheriff says rescuers are out in full force tearing through the rubble of mobile homes and houses in search of survivors of the powerful tornado.

    8:00 a.m.

    Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones provides update on storm victims, devastation and the search for those who are still missing. He said the youngest tornado victim was 6 years old. 

    6:00 a.m.

    Authorities in Alabama say they will provide an update on the rescue efforts at 8 a.m. You can watch that update LIVE on WSBTV.com.

    5:20 a.m.

    Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan says there were 39 reports of tornado damage across the southeast yesterday.

    4:30 a.m.

    The next few hours will be critical as rescuers search for survivors.

    Channel 2's Darryn Moore traveled to Lee County, Alabama, overnight and said it was very hard getting around.

    Moore said several neighborhoods are completely shut down.

    2 a.m.

    Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said the death toll has risen to 23.

    "Unfortunately our toll, as far as fatalities, does stand at 23 at the current time," Jones said.

    Jones said that children are among the dead.

    He said it's possible the death toll could continue to rise, but authorities are pausing search efforts overnight because conditions are too dangerous in the dark due to massive amounts of debris.

    “The devastation is incredible," Jones said.

    Jones said that rescue teams will resume their work at first light Monday.

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