At least 18 people have died over the last 48 hours due to tornadoes, as a violent system of storms continues to work its way across the Florida Panhandle and parts of Georgia and Alabama.
At least 14 people died and around two dozen were injured in Georgia from tornadoes early Sunday morning, following four tornado-related deaths that occurred in Mississippi on Saturday morning.
According to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, three people died in Dougherty County near Albany, seven in Cook County near Adel, and two people died in both Berrien and Brooks counties.
After storms ripped through the region overnight, more tornado watches were issued today for the Panhandle of Florida and southern Alabama, and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency has issued a state of emergency for the seven south central Georgia counties impacted by the storm.
“The National Weather Service predicts a third wave of severe weather today, which may reach as far north as metro Atlanta. I urge all Georgians to exercise caution and vigilance in order to remain safe and prevent further loss of life or injuries,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement.
President Trump expressed condolences to the people of Georgia affected by the tornadoes to the press today from the White House.
“I want to start off by telling you I just spoke with Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia, great state, great people,” Trump said. “Florida affected, Alabama affected by the tornadoes, and just expressed our sincere condolences for the lives taken.”
Trump added that the tornadoes “were vicious and powerful and strong,” and said that people suffered as a result of them.
“So we’ll be helping out the state of Georgia,” Trump added.
Images on social media showed telephone poles cracked in half, and what looked like entire streets torn apart by the storms that have churned through the South this weekend.
Michael Miller, coroner in Brooks County, Georgia, told ABC News that two deaths were confirmed in his county with five more fatalities in Cook County and four more in nearby Berrien County.
At least 23 other people in the state are injured.
In the area of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where at least four people died, a large tornado leveled homes and buildings, trapping residents in their homes, authorities said.
Further north in Choctaw County, Mississippi, on Saturday at least four people were injured and at least 20 homes damaged from a possible tornado, according to the National Weather Service.
ABC News’ David Caplan, Brendan Rand and Matt Foster contributed to this report.
SOURCE: MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN