severe weather


Nestor rushed into Georgia on Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone after the former tropical storm spawned a tornado that damaged homes and a school in central Florida but spared an area of the Florida Panhandle devastated one year ago by Hurricane Michael.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Farmers in Georgia have been impacted by a multitude of events in the last few years: hurricanes, stalled aid, trade policy and, on top of that, drought. 

In September, the Southeast saw record heat — with little to no rain. Now, there is lots of rain in the forecast for the coming week. On Second Thought checked in with onion farmer Aries Haygood of A&M Farms in Lyons, Georgia, to hear about the issues impacting farmers.

Kimberly Vardeman / Wikimedia Commons

From the devastation of Hurricane Michael to trade tariffs, Georgia farmers have faced months of uncertainty. After stalled disaster and tariff aid packages, American farmers are still struggling while being shuffled around the political gameboard. 


Mark Peele is a cotton grower and president of the South Central Georgia Gin Company. He joined On Second Thought on the line from Berrien County to talk about the outlook — and mindset — of Georgia farmers. Jeffrey Harvey, director of the Georgia Farm Bureau's Public Policy Department, also joined the conversation from GPB's studio in Macon.



Hall County Church
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service confirmed on Tuesday that four tornadoes touched down in Georgia during a storm system last week.

Friday's weather started with severe storms rolling through Georgia from the west. Authorities said a woman was killed after strong storms knocked down a tree onto her mobile home in Alabama, the Associated Press reported.

Monica Clements, 42, was found dead and her 10-year-old son suffered minor injuries, according to the sheriff's office.

Many counties throughout the state had been under tornado warnings including Forsyth, Gwinnett and Fulton counties. Outside the metro area, Oconee, Barrow, Clarke, Walton and Jackson counties had tornado warnings that expired.

Jim Lytle / AP

Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town. Three children were among the dead.

Nearly 90,000 customers were without electricity in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia as of midday Sunday, according to as the severe weather left a trail of destruction.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Communities in West Georgia have been declared in states of emergency by Gov. Brian Kemp following tornadoes that battered the region Sunday, and an emergency shelter has opened that can accommodate 100 people.

As GPB’s Grant Blankenship reports from the city of Talbotton, some of the losses were generational.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

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.

Josephine Bennett/GPB News

Florida and Georgia are left picking up the pieces following Hurricane Michael.

The storm claimed the lives of at least 11 people, including an 11-year old girl old girl who died after a tree fell on her home in Seminole County. Michael also has left damages amounting to billions of dollars, which will affect Georgia's agriculture activities. Utility crews around the state were still working to restore power to thousands on Friday.


Two journalists on duty were killed Monday as Subtropical Storm Alberto made its way north after making landfall in Florida’s panhandle. 

Photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer and Anchor Mike McCormick of WYFF News 4 in South Carolina were killed when a tree fell on their SUV in North Carolina.

The accident happened on Highway 176 in Polk County while they were covering the impact of heavy rain in that area, according to WYFF News 4.

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US National Weather Service Peachtree City Georgia

Forecasters are warning that a winter storm could soon bring snow and a wintry mix of precipitation to a large section of the Deep South.

The National Weather Service on Thursday has winter weather advisories covering parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Birmingham, Alabama, are among cities covered by the advisories.

Tornado Hits Georgia As Rain, Hail Pelts Southeast

Apr 5, 2017

A large tornado touched down in rural southwest Georgia on Wednesday, toppling trees and power lines as dangerous storms battered the Deep South with heavy rain and hail as large as baseballs in some spots.

David Goldman / AP Photo

With severe storms bearing down on Augusta National, the club has been shut down for the second time this week.

Masters officials suspended play at 1:25 p.m. EDT Wednesday, cutting short the final afternoon of practice before the start of the tournament as well as the popular Par 3 Contest.

Fans were ordered to leave the course as line of dangerous storms swept across the Deep South, sparking tornado warnings in Georgia and neighboring South Carolina.

Augusta National was also forced to close Monday because of heavy rains.

Big Hail, Heavy Rains Pelt Deep South As Storms Move In

Apr 5, 2017
Chris Carlson / AP Photo

Big hail and heavy rains pelted the Deep South early Wednesday, and schools and churches shut down as severe storms that forecasters said could spawn powerful tornadoes moved across the region.

Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency because of the threat, resulting in multiple school closings, and schools in South Carolina planned to dismiss classes early.

NWS Peachtre City

The latest on severe weather moving across the Southeast.

Strong Storms Kill 1, Damage Homes Across The South

Mar 22, 2017

Severe storms caused at least one death, damaged homes, downed trees and knocked out power as areas around the South were pounded with wind, rain and hail.

In Georgia, northeast of Atlanta, Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum says a man, his wife and two children were in a bedroom when a tree crashed into the home, killing the man Tuesday evening. Mangum said his wife and children survived "by the grace of God."

Federal Aid Approved For Georgia After Latest Storm

Jan 26, 2017
Grant Blankenship / GPB

Gov. Nathan Deal says the White House has approved federal aid for southwest Georgia residents recovering after deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms struck last weekend.

Deal said Thursday that President Donald Trump has granted assistance for six counties that suffered severe damage as waves of storms hammered the Southeast on Saturday and Sunday. Twenty people died in the region, including 15 in Georgia.

Deal said he expects the White House will later approve federal aid to 10 additional Georgia counties included in the governor's emergency declaration.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Storms in South Georgia have devastated the communities there in the last few days. Since the storms began this past weekend, at least 15 people have been killed and dozens more injured.



GPB’s Grant Blankenship was in Albany earlier this week, covering the scene there. He joins us to provide an update on the damage.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

The storms that ripped through South Georgia and killed 15 people and injured dozens were only the most recent weather tragedy to hit the state. In fact, it was less than a month ago that a tornado ripped through the city of Albany. Now storm recovery in the South Georgia town is starting all over again.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Relief efforts are underway for those affected by the storms that rolled through Southwest Georgia last weekend.

The American Red Cross is operating three emergency shelters in South Georgia, located in Cook, Doughtery, and Turner counties.

In addition to monetary contributions, The Red Cross is accepting physical supplies.

Drop off sites for these items are available at any Goodwill location.

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief is accepting donations and offering training to any volunteers who want to assist in the clean up effort.

Governor Nathan Deal has expanded his state of emergency declaration to nine additional counties in south Georgia in the wake of the strong thunderstorms and tornadoes that ripped across the area this weekend.

The declaration now includes the following 16 counties: Atkinson, Baker, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Lowndes, Mitchell, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox and Worth.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Deal stressed the state was making all its emergency management resources available to communities affected by the storms.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Across the Deep South, people are picking up the pieces after a weekend of violent storms and tornadoes. Twenty people were killed this weekend, seven of them near the South Georgia town of Adel, where recovery began before the danger was even over.

19 Die Amid Apparent Winter Tornadoes, Other Storms In South

Jan 23, 2017
Branden Camp / AP Photo

Chuck Stafford was watching the Atlanta Falcons rout the Green Bay Packers for the NFC title Sunday afternoon in the mobile home park in Albany where he's lived for more than 31 years when the weather started getting bad.

Stafford, 74, had gotten up to go to the restroom during a commercial when the storm hit. He said the wind started blowing and the mobile home started shaking. "I grabbed hold of my washer and dryer, got my legs spread apart and hunched over," Stafford said. "I guess I picked a good time to go to the bathroom."

Updated 4:30 a.m. ET Monday:

In southern Georgia, near the border with Florida, severe weather turned deadly in the early hours of Sunday morning. At least 18 people were killed as the area was racked with storms, according to local officials.

Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for seven counties in the state.

Severe weather impacts Atkinson, Berrien, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Lowndes and Thomas.

Following the recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) officials and local Emergency Management Agencies (EMA), Gov. Nathan Deal is declaring 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.

Severe Weather Continues Across Georgia; Multiple Deaths, Injuries Reported

Jan 22, 2017
Branden Camp / AP Photo

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.