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    Reports: Death toll rises as tornadoes plague the South over the weekend

    By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
    January 23, 2017, 9:10:18 AM EST

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      As of 4:00 a.m. EST on Monday, the reports below are no longer being updated.

      The death toll from rounds of severe weather across the South over the weekend has risen to at least 18.

      At least 14 people were killed from several twisters in Georgia on Sunday, the AP reported.

      The Sunday morning fatalities were reported in three separate locations near Barney, Adel and New Lois, Georgia.

      Another deadly tornado resulted in at least four deaths in the town of Albany, Georgia, Sunday afternoon.

      Four people were also confirmed dead on Saturday by the city of Hattiesburg after a large tornado tore through Hattiesburg, Mississippi, during the early morning hours on Saturday.


      As of 12:30 a.m. EST, Georgia Power reports over 10,000 customers remain without power, following the weekend's devastating storms.

      Over 4,000 customers are affected by recent power outages across Florida, according to Duke Energy.

      Alabama Power says as of 9:30 p.m., 6,500 customers are still in the dark.


      The four people that were killed by the tornado that struck Albany, Georgia on Sunday were residents of a mobile home park in east Albany, according to the Albany Herald. Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas posted a video to his Facebook page saying that the Paradise Village Mobile Home Park off Holly Drive was “demolished.” He said Dougherty County school buses were ferrying people away from the destruction zone and to local shelters.

      albanytornado

      People stop to take a photo of a gas station damaged by an apparent tornado on Jan. 22 in Albany, Ga. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)



      Georgia State Police and Georgia search-and-rescue teams are coming out to devastated areas around Albany to attempt to locate and rescue people who may be trapped. Emergency responders have been moving by foot since certain areas are blocked by downed trees and structural debris, and two fire stations were unable to respond to emergencies due to blocked roads. WALB is also reporting widespread damage at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.


      At least four fatalities have been reported in the town of Albany, Georgia, after a large tornado slammed the region, the Albany Herald reported Sunday evening. Many photos were posted to social media in the wake of the tornado, showing widespread and significant damage.

      Through 7:10 p.m. EST, there have already been 27 tornado reports across the Southeast on Sunday, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

      albany_tornado

      A tornado left behind major damage in Albany, Georgia, Sunday afternoon. (Photo/Twitter user @Pro_Out_TM)



      Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature for users in Albany, Georgia in the aftermath of Sunday's tornado, according to WALB-TV.

      Users in the area can click or tap the "I'm Safe" button to let friends and loved ones know right away that they're OK. They can also check a list of friends who may be affected by the disaster.

      Facebook activates its Safety Check feature based on the activity of people in affected areas of a crisis, such as storms, earthquakes and mass shootings.



      Reports of damage in Albany, Georgia, are coming in as the storm continues to move through neighboring counties, according to WALB-TV. Power lines and trees have been downed and ambulances are reportedly tending to injured individuals, according to an eyewitness.

      According to local media, there are also reports of several fatalities but the number has yet to be confirmed.



      A particularly dangerous situation tornado watch was issued for central Florida late Sunday afternoon. State officials are urging residents to avoid flooded roadways and to take precautionary measures ahead of the storms.




      A tornado emergency was issued for southern Wilcox County in Georgia amid reports that a large and extremely dangerous tornado was moving near the towns of Rochelle and Abbeville.


      At least 30,000 customers are without power in Florida and Georgia due to the storms, local utilities report. Nearly 30,000 are also without power in Alabama.


      Severe tornadic thunderstorm is heading toward Arabi and Rochelle, Georgia as of 3:50 p.m. EST.

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      A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado is heading toward Albany, Georgia as of 3:30 p.m. EST.


      A third wave of severe weather will hit the southeastern United States today, which will reach as far north as metro Atlanta. Severe weather will threaten Atlanta, posing dangers to the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay packers game at 3:00 EST Sunday afternoon.

      "I urge all Georgians to exercise caution and vigilance in order to remain safe and prevent further loss of life or injuries,” Gov. Deal said.





      Governor of Georgia 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 will remain for the next seven days.

      “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.



      "These storms are going to move very fast today. Act immediately if a warning is issued," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Smith said.



      Hail was spotted in De Funiak Springs, Florida and Foley, Alabama on Sunday morning. Tornadoes are not the only threat in the southeastern United States, large hail and severe thunderstorms can potentially down power lines, damage cars and houses.



      As of 11:00 a.m. EST, a tornado was recently reported at the Hurlburt Airport near Mary Esther, Florida. Tornadic thunderstorms continue along a line across the northern Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia.

      This line will push northward allowing warm and humid air to also pour northward, setting the stage for the significant tornado threat to unfold this afternoon across southeastern Alabama, southern Georgia and northern Florida.



      Tornado watches and warnings cover the southeastern United States. A tornado watch is in effect for the border-area of Georgia and Florida as of 10:20 a.m. EST.



      Shanise

      Shanise McMorris grieves on the slab of her Hattiesburg, Miss., home after an early tornado hit the city, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. The tornado was part of a wall of stormy weather traveling across the region, bringing with it rain and unstable conditions. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

      Mississippi Tornado

      A car and house are damaged at the edge of a mobile home park south of downtown Hattiesburg, Miss., Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, where one man died and others were injured. Four people died and dozens were injured in a predawn tornado that tracked across Hattiesburg, Petal and nearby areas. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

      Margarita Morales

      Margarita Morales, carries her possessions out of a house she shared with two other people after a tornado destroyed the residence, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Hattiesburg, Miss. The tornado was part of a wall of stormy weather traveling across the region, bringing with it rain and unstable conditions. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


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