January 22, 2017
At least 11 people are dead and 23 people injured after severe weather struck southern Georgia early Sunday, a day after 4 people were killed when a tornado spawned by the same system touched down in Mississippi.
Catherine Howden of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency told the Associated Press that the deaths occurred in Cook, Brooks and Berrien counties near the Florida-Georgia line.
Howden said the deaths were related to severe weather, but could not specify whether tornadoes were the cause.
Cook County Coroner Tim Purvis said an apparent tornado “leveled” numerous mobile homes before dawn Sunday in the park near Adel, where at least 5 were confirmed dead. He said emergency responders were still searching for survivors hours later.
Purvis estimated the park has about 40 mobile homes total and roughly half of them were destroyed.
Brooks County Coroner Michael Miller told the AP he was called to assist in neighboring Cook County, where the apparent tornado that struck before dawn left “mobile homes thrown everywhere.”
Miller said two people died in Brooks County when an apparent tornado tossed a mobile home roughly 100 yards into the middle of a highway.
Tornado warnings had been issued for parts of Georgia overnight, and the state was expecting more severe weather during the day Sunday.
Across southeast Georgia, a rare “high risk” of severe weather and tornadoes is in place Sunday, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
Locations in the high risk could experience stronger, longer track tornadoes – as opposed to a brief spin-up.
The southeastern United States has been pounded by storms, high winds and unstable weather over the weekend.
Four people died after a tornado with winds above 136 mph tore a 25-mile path across southern Mississippi before dawn Saturday.
The National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Florida, has issued a tornado warning for Echols, Clinch and Ware counties in southeastern Georgia. A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for the Florida panhandle.