Death toll from severe storms rises to 14 in Georgia

ATLANTA — At least 14 people died in Georgia as two rounds of severe weather swept through over the weekend.

As of 11 p.m. Sunday, Georgia Power said thousands of people were still without power across the state.

North Georgia avoided the deadly storms and tornadoes that hit South Georgia Sunday afternoon, but did have a few severe storms move through.

In Gordon County, strong winds knocked down trees and power lines closing several roads. There was also widespread flooding in the county. Gordon County Schools decided to close on Monday because of the damage and closed roads. Staff should report at 10 a.m. if possible.

Albany's fire chief confirmed a tornado touched down around 3 p.m. Sunday. The same tornado also hit East Albany leaving significant damage.

We have a reporter and photographer in south Georgia where the tornado hit for a live report on Channel 2 Action News This Morning starting at 4:30 a.m.

Emergency officials are reporting three additional deaths in southern Georgia from violent storms, bringing the overall toll to at least 18 people killed over the weekend by a severe weather system sweeping the Southeast.

Catherine Howden, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, said Sunday evening that three additional deaths have been confirmed in Georgia's Dougherty County.  Local officials say search and rescue operations are underway after a reported tornado caused widespread destruction in the county Sunday evening.

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Before the three latest deaths were confirmed, Georgia officials had reported 12 deaths statewide. Howden said one of those was reported in error.

Four died Saturday in Mississippi.

During a news conference Sunday afternoon, President Donald Trump promised federal help for Georgia communities hit by the storms.

11 killed in first round of severe storms

Eleven people are dead and 23 are injured after strong storms moved through Georgia Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Following the storm, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for seven south-central Georgia counties. The following counties are: Atkinson, Berrien, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Lowndes and Thomas.

Seven of the 11 people who died in the tornadoes were killed at a mobile home park in Cook County, Coroner Tim Purvis said.

"All you hear is people screaming, 'Help me, help me,'" said AJ Miley, who lives in the Sunshine Mobile Home Park.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas traveled to Cook County where he spoke to Miley and several other neighbors are the tragedy.

Devocheo Williams said he walked out of his mangled trailer to see his neighborhood and neighbors being tossed through the air.

"All I saw was a little girl flown up and thrown in a ditch. Three seconds later, the trailer got picked up off the ground and landed on top of the mother and son," Williams said.

The trailer park is located on Callie Harris Road, south of Adel. Most of the 40 homes in the park were either damaged or wiped out all together.

"It's heartbreaking," said Edward Allen, who spent the day looking for survivors and clearing debris. "It's really affected our community."

Authorities told Thomas the two dozen or so people were hurt in the county, some very seriously. They said the number of deaths could rise.

Families seeking information about missing individuals are urged to contact the Adel First Assembly of God church at 1601 Massee Post Road at (229) 896-3935 or (229) 561-2875. First Baptist Church of Adel  at 200 East 5th Street can be contacted at (229) 561-1201.

Both churches have been designated as shelters.

Two people died in Brooks County, Sheriff Mike Dewey said.

Both were in the same home in Barney that was displaced into Highway 122.

The Berrien County Sheriff's Office also confirmed that at least two people died during the storm.

Berrien County Coroner Robert S. Lovein Jr. said the damage is extensive and “terrible.”

At least three more injuries were confirmed in Thomas County.

The Sheriff's Office said a mobile home at Airline and Centennial roads was destroyed while a man was still inside.

This is believed to be the deadliest storm since the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak in Ringgold and Cedartown that killed 15 people. It is also the second major storm to rip through South Georgia this month.

Other killer storms in recent years:

  • March 27, 1994: 18 were killed on Palm Sunday in the Floyd County area.
  • March 20, 1998: 14 were killed in Hall and White counties.
  • April 8, 1998: Seven were killed in and around Dunwoody city in DeKalb, and in Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
  • Feb. 14, 2000: 19 were killed in Southwest Georgia/Mitchell County,Grady County, Colquitt County.
  • March 20, 2003: Six were killed in southwestern Georgia.
  • March 1, 2007: Six were killed in Newton.
  • March 14, 2008: One was killed in Atlanta.
  • April 27, 2011: Ringgold and Cedartown reported 15 deaths.
  • January 2013: One was killed in Adairsville.