Strong storms kill 20 in southeast US
MIAMI: The death toll from weekend storms that lashed the southeastern United States rose to 20 on Monday, after a woman was killed when a tree fell on her home.
Severe weather including an estimated two dozen tornadoes tore a trail of destruction through several states on Saturday and Sunday, uprooting trees and leaving homes in splinters.
Georgia was the hardest hit, with the death toll rising by one to 15 confirmed fatalities scattered across four counties, according to the state’s emergency management and homeland security agency.
Four of the deaths were in the city of Albany in Dougherty County, where news footage showed scenes of devastation with light poles torn from the ground and downed trees.
“The damage that we’ve suffered in our community is immeasurable. Four deaths have been confirmed, and that’s going to rise,” County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas told reporters.
County Emergency Management Director Ron Rowe added: “There are some neighborhoods in this county that have been removed from the face of the earth.”
Seven of the victims in Georgia were killed when a tornado swept through a trailer park in Cook County, south of Albany, according to coroner Tim Purvis.
In northern Florida, a 54-year-old woman near Lake City was killed late Sunday after a tree fell on her house, News4Jax television reported.
Authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Four others died and 20 were injured on Saturday morning by a tornado that swept through southern Mississippi, according to that state’s emergency services agency.