On Sunday, Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp announced a state of emergency following severe storms, including a tornado, that struck the state.
According to Kemp, the storm systems caused thunderstorms, high-speed straight-line winds, and numerous tornadoes in the region.
This announcement followed a devastating tornado outbreak that resulted in the loss of over two dozen lives in Mississippi and Alabama.
“As we continue to monitor the weather and work with local partners to address damage throughout the day, I ask all Georgians to join us in praying for those impacted,” Kemp stated.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued by the National Weather Service in Atlanta on Sunday evening for locations including LaGrange, West Point, and Pine Mountain, situated approximately 80 miles southwest of the state capital.
According to the NWS, the area from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Atlanta can expect an additional 2 to 4 inches of rainfall, and the current weather conditions could lead to flash flooding.
Earlier Sunday, a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” hit near LaGrange, injuring three people, officials told CNN.
“It was awful … a lot of homes were destroyed,” LaGrange Mayor-elect Willie Edmondson told WSB-TV.
CNN reported that as many as 100 homes were damaged, with 30 to 40 of them being “completely destroyed,” according to Troup County Emergency Management Director Zachary Steele.
The nonprofit organization Georgia Mutual Aid Society shared on Facebook that “numerous houses collapsed” in West Point, Ga., with several individuals trapped. As a result, five people sustained injuries.
Furthermore, the storm caused two tigers to escape from their enclosures at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, following the tornado damage.
“Both have now been found, tranquilized and safely returned to a secure enclosure,” the park said in a statement, adding that no employees or animals had been hurt.