A powerful storm system plowed up the U.S. Eastern seaboard with torrential showers and high winds on Monday, hindering airline and rail travel, after killing at least 21 people in the South, many in mobile homes demolished by tornadoes.
The storm, which unleashed deadly twisters in Mississippi and Georgia over the weekend, turned cooler as it advanced on the Northeast, where residents faced potential flooding, downed power lines and high surf late on Monday and early Tuesday, said Tim Morrin, the National Weather Service’s New York observation program leader..
Thunderstorms and tornadoes spawned by the same weather system killed 16 people on Sunday in Georgia, according to a tally by the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma. Four of those fatalities were confirmed, and a toddler was reported missing, in Dougherty County after a twister left a path of destruction up to a half mile wide.
A trailer park was especially hard hit, and local authorities said they expected the death toll to rise.
“It literally looks like God took half of the mobile home park and threw it across the street into the woods,” Dougherty County Commission Chair Chris Cohilas said at a news conference.
Cohilas expressed frustration at the pace of the federal government in furnishing emergency help, calling it “disgraceful.”
“I would ask President Trump to take some significant steps to cut through the red tape and get us some people on the damned ground,” he said at a news conference on Monday.
Governor Nathan Deal, announcing that he extended a state emergency declaration to 16 Georgia counties, said Trump had called him on Sunday and promised he would be “ready and willing to respond” to an expected request for federal disaster relief.
A tornado killed four people, three of them in mobile homes, in the southern Mississippi town of Hattiesburg on Saturday, and one person was reported killed in northern Florida when a tree toppled onto a house during a severe thunderstorm, authorities said. (Reuters)