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Georgia Governor issues state of emergency after ‘multiple tornadoes’ batter the state

After at least 26 people were reported killed following severe weather that ravaged parts of Mississippi and Alabama Friday night, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency Sunday morning after “severe storms and tornadoes” also struck the state.

A severe storm system made its way into Georgia on Sunday producing “thunderstorms, high-velocity straight-line winds, and multiple tornadoes,” according to Kemp’s declaration, which is set to expire on April 3.

“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 said.

Tornado damage in LaGrange, Ga., on Sunday.@bourntocreate via Twitter

At least one tornado was indicated by radar Sunday morning in LaGrange, Georgia, about an hour south of Atlanta, according to National Weather Service Atlanta forecaster Nikole Listemaa.

Nothing is known about the rating of the tornado indicated by radar in LaGrange at this time, but video shows damage and fallen trees in the area.

(Note for photo/video team

The National Weather Service announced on Sunday morning that parts of central Georgia and southern Alabama were under tornado watch.

Early Sunday, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Mississippi and ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts, the White House said in a statement.

In Georgia, 23 counties remain under tornado watch until 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. This includes cities like Macon, Sparta and Pine Mountain.

In Pine Mountain, Wild Animal Safari reported that two of its tigers had briefly escaped their enclosures following “extensive tornado damage” on Sunday morning.

“Fortunately, none of our animals and employees were hurt. However, several animal enclosures were breeched, and two tigers briefly escaped. Both have now been found, tranquilized, and safely returned to a secure enclosure,” Wild Animal Safari said in a Facebook post.

There’s a Slight Risk of Excessive Rainfall issued by the National Weather Service across parts of central Alabama and Georgia “where the favorable conditions for heavy rainfall are most likely to contribute to the risk for scattered instances of flash flooding.”

Multiple counties are under flash flood warning in the Georgia, including Pike, Monroe and Troup counties.

Around 8,190 utility customers do not have power in the state as of 1 p.m. ET, according to

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