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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Rosana Hughes and Caroline Silva

Tornado in western Georgia injures at least 2; Kemp declares state of emergency

ATLANTA — At least one radar-confirmed tornado caused significant damage in west Georgia Sunday morning.

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office confirmed two storm-related injuries. No fatalities have been reported.

The radar showed a debris field in Troup County shortly before 8 a.m. The tornado uprooted trees, leaving people trapped in their homes, according to Channel 2 Action News. One neighborhood along West Point Road had been destroyed, with trees crushing vehicles and homes. Some homes appeared to have been leveled.

Additionally, two tigers were captured after being reported as unaccounted for at the Pine Mountain Animal Safari, a more than 250-acre drive-through zoo about 18 miles east of West Point, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities had initially said one tiger was missing.

Most of the damage is in the area of West Point city limits, the sheriff’s office said, and the path of destruction extends east toward Meriwether County.

“Please do not get out and travel in that area as our first responders are all working in that area,” the sheriff’s office said.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency for areas affected by the storms.

“As severe weather continues in these and other parts of our state, we urge Georgians to be mindful of how they can best keep themselves and their families safe,” Kemp tweeted, adding that his office is monitoring the weather and working with local partners to address the damage.

“I ask all Georgians to join us in praying for those impacted,” he said.

A tornado watch remains in effect for Baldwin, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Pike, Troup and Upson counties until 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. And flash-flood warnings have been issued for Troup and Meriwether counties, as well as northern Pike County through the afternoon.

A ground stop was lifted at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It was in effect until 9 a.m. due to the thunderstorms, but departures remained delayed by about 45 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Another round of storms was expected Sunday.

“We are going to see more active weather late Sunday,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Eboni Deon said.

Parts of north metro Atlanta will be under marginal risk due to severe weather, while some parts of the south metro will be under a slight risk, according to the National Weather Service. The agency added that there is a potential for multiple rounds of heavy showers from Sunday until Tuesday. Strong, severe storms can bring isolated flash flooding.


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