Georgia Governor Declares State Of Emergency After Deadly Tornado

Mar 4, 2019

Gov. Brian Kemp declared on Monday a state of emergency in Grady, Harris and Talbot counties after a tornado killed at least 23 people in southeastern Alabama on Sunday.

The death toll may rise, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told reporters Monday morning.

"This declaration immediately dispatches additional first responders and assistance as we continue to assess the damage," Kemp said. "Throughout this process, I have received regular updates from state and local leaders."

Kemp will travel to affected areas this afternoon with emergency management personnel to witness the damage firsthand, he said in his statement.

"At this time, we extend our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by severe weather in Georgia and Alabama, where citizens in Lee County are reeling from the deaths of at least 23 people and massive structural damage."

Crews are committed to finding everyone reported missing or possibly trapped in the rubble.

More than one child died in the storm, but Jones said he didn't know the exact number.

Jones said most of the victims have been identified, but officials are waiting until relatives are notified before releasing their names.

The Sunday tornado was part of a powerful storm system that also slashed its way across parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.