UPDATE 4:10 p.m.
Emergency officials say the death toll in Georgia has risen to 12 people killed as violent storms tear across the region.
The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency gave the updated figure in a news release Sunday afternoon. The agency had reported total 11 deaths earlier in the day.
Eight deaths were confirmed in Cook County in rural southern Georgia. County Coroner Tim Purvis said Sunday morning that seven people were found dead at a mobile home park struck by an apparent tornado. It was not known if the additional death was discovered there as well. Purvis did not immediately return a phone call.
There were also two deaths apiece in neighboring Brooks and Berrien counties.
UPDATE 2:30 p.m.
A woman says she and her parents were fortunate to escape with their lives as a storm destroyed their home in rural south Georgia.
Jenny Bullard had her arm in a sling Sunday afternoon as she searched for salvageable belongings amid the rubble that was her family's Cook County home. An apparent tornado smashed through the center of the brick house before dawn.
The 19-year-old Bullard says a wall and a door fell on her, but she managed to reach her father and help free him from a pile of debris. They escaped with her mother through a hole in the wall of what had been a home office.
Out of 11 confirmed storm deaths in Georgia, the coroner said seven people were killed in Cook County. Bullard says it's "a horrible tragedy."
UPDATE 11:46 a.m.
The governor of Georgia has declared a state of emergency in seven counties that have suffered deaths, injuries and severe damage from weekend storms.
Gov. Nathan Deal's office said Sunday the emergency declaration includes Brooks, Cook and Berrien counties — where 11 people have been confirmed dead in south central Georgia near the Florida state line.
Also included were Atkinson, Colquitt, Lowndes and Thomas counties.
Deal said in a statement that state agencies are "making all resources available" to affected counties and "our thoughts and prayers are with Georgians suffering from the storm's impact."
Emergency management officials say 11 people are dead and more than 20 injured after strong thunderstorms and possible tornadoes moved through the state overnight.
Residents in the region are bracing for more severe weather.
The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency says the deaths occurred in Cook, Berrien, and Brooks Counties. The agency is working to confirm if tornadoes were the cause.
Brooks County Coroner Michael Miller tells the Associated Press he was called to assist in neighboring Cook County, where an apparent tornado that struck before dawn left "mobile homes thrown everywhere." Miller said emergency responders were still searching the debris for survivors hours later.
Meanwhile, The National Weather Service says long-track, tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail are moving into in southern Georgia and north Florida today.