Several people were killed and others hospitalized as severe storms ripped through parts of Georgia during the overnight hours Monday morning.
At a press conference Monday afternoon, Gov. Brian Kemp said that at least seven people were killed and nearly 50 people injured during the storms. Kemp declared a statewide "State of Emergency for Storm Damage" earlier in the day.
Murray County Fire Chief Dewayne Bain told FOX 5 that the storms claimed the lives of at least five people in Chatsworth. Bain said the damage was focused around two mobile home parks in the Ridgeview Circle/Ridgeview Lane area. Everyone who lost their lives were described as adults and were in three different homes. Paramedics transported at least 23 people to the hospital and numerous others suffered minor injuries. Officials said four people remain unaccounted for.
The fire chief said the storm appeared to skip during its path of destruction. A number of homes in a second mobile home park on Deerpark Drive were also destroyed. Numerous trees were down in the area and many roads were blocked.
Bainsaid they are still assessing damage and more victims could be found. The National Weather Service will need to confirm that this was, in fact, a tornado that caused all of the death and destruction.
Shauna Sosa and her family were just a few of the resident who sought shelter at Bagley Middle School. She said after waiting out a couple rounds of storms in a closet, she put her three children and grandmother in a car and got out before the next wave came through.
In Cartersville, officials said a 34-year-old man died after a large tree fell into the back side of his house on Fite Street overnight.
A man was killed after strong storms brought a tree down onto the back of his house overnight in Catersville, officials told FOX 5 (Source; Natalie Fultz/FOX 5 Atlanta).
Debris could be seen scattered around the property and in the road. It is unclear how many people were home at the time. The extent of the damage to the house was not known.
A tornado was confirmed in Fulton County around 2:30 a.m. Monday near College Park and East Point, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS also confirmed a probable tornado in Upson County.
The winds were so strong, a house was pushed into the middle of Highway 74.
This house was pushed into the middle of HW 74 in Upson County, GA. (Source: Paul Milliken/FOX 5 Atlanta)
FOX 5 spoke to a man and his wife who said the morning storms were unlike anything they had ever experienced in the 47 years they've lived there.
In addition to heavy rain, the morning storms brought damaging winds and hail, which toppled trees and scattered debris along roadways. In East Point, large trees fell onto cars and damaged property.
A tree fell onto this car in East Point as strong storms passed through Georgia during the overnight hours Monday April 13, 2020 (Source: FOX 5 Atlanta).
A large tree brought down by strong storms in East Point Monday April 13, 2020 (Source; FOX 5 Atlanta).
One resident told FOX 5 that she woke up to debris crashing into windows and the wind and rain swirling around. Other residents described hearing what they thought was a freight train outside their windows.
Other parts of Georgia saw roadways completely blocked by downed trees and debris.
A large tree completely blocks the roadway after severe storms came through Floyd County April 13, 2020 (Source: Billy Heath/FOX 5 Atlanta).
More than 150,000 people across the state were left wthout power, according to Georgia Power's outage map. Restoration times varied across areas.
Gov. Brian Kemp offered his condolences to those impacted by the severe storms.
"This morning, several communities are grappling with serious storm damage, and I ask everyone to lift them up in prayer. Our hearts go out to the loved ones and friends of those we lost," the governor tweeted.
The same storm system was responsible for the deaths of at least six people in south Mississippi Easter Sunday. The system also damaged up to 300 homes and other buildings in northern Louisiana as it moved through.
Several homes in South West Monroe. LA received significant damage from a tornado that touched down midday Easter Sunday (Source: City of West Monroe).
The National Weather Service predicted severe thunderstorms capable of tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and hail were possible Sunday into Monday from southeast Georgia through the eastern Caronlinas and into the Mid-Atlantic vicinity.
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