National Weather Service meteorologist Trisha Palmer says the twister touched down in an area of Troup County around 7 p.m. Monday and traveled about 5.5 miles before it lifted in Heard County. Palmer says the tornado was on the ground for about 10 minutes.
The tornado's top wind speed was roughly 120 mph and Palmer says the storm caused damage to between four and six homes in the area.
Palmer says forecasters spoke with local emergency management officials and no injuries have been reported. The area the tornado hit was primarily rural and Palmer says the storm caused extensive tree damage.
Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in Georgia overnight, freeing up state resources for storm response.
In preparation for severe storms that have caused extensive damage in states to the west, Deal declared the state of emergency, which will free up all state resources needed for preparation and response in the counties targeted by the storm.
“At this juncture, we’ve declared the emergency for the entire state because it’s impossible to pinpoint where the weather will hit,” Deal said in a statement released last night. “Georgia is threatened at least through tomorrow and perhaps into Wednesday. We’re prepared now and we’ll be ready for recovery should we, God forbid, experience tornado damage or flooding.
“The state is sending the latest weather information we have available to affected schools districts, so that they can make informed decisions as they plan ... I recommend that Georgians download the Ready Georgia app, follow GEMA on Twitter and tune in to media reports as the weather develops,” the statement said.
The state of emergency will extend until the threat subsides.