13 people die in GA storms - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

13 people die in GA storms

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RINGGOLD, Ga. (AP) - State officials are reporting two people are dead in Lamar County as a result of a powerful storm system that raked across Georgia, bringing the state's death toll to 13.

GEMA spokeswoman Lisa Janak-Newman said Thursday that two people were killed in Lamar County but did not have details. Officials in the middle Georgia county have called a news conference later in the day to discuss the damage.

Deaths have also been reported in Dade, Catoosa and Spalding counties.

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for a handful of counties, and that list is expected to grow.

Rescue crews were working in Catoosa County to find survivors after about a dozen buildings collapsed there.

Georgia Power is reported about 54,000 customers were still without power Thursday morning.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will tour storm-ravaged areas in the northwest and middle parts of the state.

Deal on Thursday also declared a state of emergency in an additional 12 Georgia counties, bringing the number of counties under the declaration to 16.

Deal will arrive first in Ringgold, where he'll tour the damage by helicopter and then meet with officials. He'll stop next at Mountain View Elementary School in Manchester in Meriwether County. Deal will cap off the tour at the swing with a visit to the state operations center in Atlanta.

The governor has declared a state of emergency in Bartow, Coweta, Greene, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Spalding, and Troup counties. He declared emergencies for Walker, Dade, Catoosa and Floyd counties Wednesday night. 

Alabama officials say they have raised the death toll from a deadly tornado outbreak to 131. That brings to 200 the number of people who have died in six states across the South.

Gov. Robert Bentley says as many as a million people are without power in Alabama.

There are also 32 deaths in Mississippi, 15 in Tennessee, 13 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Kentucky.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said it received 137 tornado reports around the regions into Wednesday night.