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Statement of Governor Sonny Perdue Regarding Tornado Damage

Thursday, March 20, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue sent thoughts and prayers to Mitchell and Worth county residents who were impacted by early morning tornadoes. "Reports from officials in Mitchell and Worth counties indicate that both areas have experienced significant damage. I am deeply saddened and concerned for the residents of these counties, their families, their homes and their businesses," said Governor Perdue.

Governor Perdue has plans to tour Mitchell County today, which was severely impacted by a tornado on Valentine's Day 2000.

"I have authorized the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to lead statewide efforts to fully assess the damage sustained. Upon receipt of the information, I will talk to GEMA Director Mike Sherberger to determine what level of assistance we can provide our fellow Georgians during their time of need."

GEMA is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. Several statewide agencies are already in place assisting GEMA, including the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia's Departments of Agriculture, Corrections, Forestry and Transportation.

Early news reports have confirmed fatalities in each county, property damage and a number of injuries. The Georgia Department of Transportation has closed U.S. Highway 19 and Georgia Route 112 as they work to remove debris and fallen power lines.

For additional emergency information and updates, contact GEMA at 1-800-TRY-GEMA (1-800-879-4362).