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Severe Storms Batter Georgia Leaving 12 Dead, 23 Injured: Emergency Officials

At Least 12 Dead, 23 Injured as Severe Storms Devastate Georgia 2:06

At least 12 people are dead and 23 injured after severe storms struck Georgia, emergency officials said Sunday.

The National Weather Service said an outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms was expected across south Georgia, north Florida and southeast Alabama into Sunday evening.

The area was under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. ET, the NWS said, with "strong tornadoes" and "very strong damaging wind gusts" as well as scattered large hail possible.

Two of the fatalities in Georgia were reported in Berrien County, where a tree fell on a family home, according to the coroner's office there.

Image: A U.S. Air Force airman surveys debris covering an area of the Sunshine Acres neighborhood after a tornado struck Adel, Georgia, Jan. 22, 2017.
A U.S. Air Force airman surveys debris covering an area of the Sunshine Acres neighborhood after a tornado struck Adel, Georgia, Jan. 22, 2017. Nathaniel Sixberry / Handout via Reuters

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for seven counties in south central Georgia that were impacted by the severe weather.

“These storms have devastated communities and homes in South Central Georgia, and the state is making all resources available to the impacted areas,” Deal said in a statement.

The governor also warned people to "exercise caution" as severe storms continued to batter the state.

"The National Weather Service predicts a third wave of severe weather today, which may reach as far north as metro Atlanta," he said. "I urge all Georgians to exercise caution and vigilance in order to remain safe and prevent further loss of life or injuries."

Image: Jenny Bullard carries a pair of boats from her home that was damaged by a tornado, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Georgia.
Jenny Bullard carries a pair of boats from her home that was damaged by a tornado, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Georgia. Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in several counties, including Cook, that have suffered deaths, injuries and severe damage from weekend storms. Branden Camp / AP

President Donald Trump said Sunday afternoon that he had spoken to Deal and offered his condolences for the lives lost.

Georgia electrical companies reported Sunday morning that the storm affected service for 8,599 across the state.

Image: Jeff Bullard sits in what used to be the foyer of his home as his daughter, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Georgia.
Jeff Bullard sits in what used to be the foyer of his home as his daughter, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Georgia. Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in several counties, including Cook, that have suffered deaths, injuries and severe damage from weekend storms. Branden Camp / AP

The severe storms came a day after a tornado struck Hattiesburg, Mississippi, leaving four dead.