March 18, 2019

Deal declares state of emergency for 7 Georgia counties

(Photo: AP/Brendan Farrington)

Damage in Cook County, GA (Photo: AP/Brendan Farrington)

(Atlanta, GA) — Following the recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) officials and local Emergency Management Agencies (EMA), Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday declared a state of emergency for seven South Central Georgia counties impacted by severe weather and tornado touchdowns on January 21 and 22.

The state of emergency is currently in effect and will remain so for the next seven days.

“These storms have devastated communities and homes in South Central Georgia, and the state is making all resources available to the impacted areas,” Deal said.

“These storms have resulted in loss of life, numerous injuries and extensive property damage, and our thoughts and prayers are with Georgians suffering from the storm’s impact. As we continue to assess the damage, I’m prepared to expand or extend this emergency declaration as needed. In addition to the state’s response, all indications suggest we will also be submitting a request for federal assistance as well.”

The storms were the latest in a series of violent weather in the region that also killed four people in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Saturday.

In Georgia, seven people were killed in Cook County, with two more deaths each in neighboring Brooks and Berrien counties, and three in Dougherty County, according to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

Gov. Deal plans to visit the affected areas in the coming days. The seven counties affected are Atkinson, Berrien, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Lowndes and Thomas. There are five Good Samaritan shelters now open.

State agencies assisting in the counties include:

  • GEMHSA, which is coordinating all disaster response

  • Department of Public Heath, which has deployed trauma trailers

  • Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force 2 (Valdosta)

  • Department of Natural Resources

  • Department of Public Safety

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