Eighteen Dead Over 48 Hours as Tornadoes Wreak Havoc in the South

Twitter/@RyanMooreMS(ATLANTA) -- 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 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.

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Protests erupt from Boston to California as Confederate monument tensions boil over

Protests erupt from Boston to California as Confederate monument tensions boil overSpencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The weekend after a white nationalist rally collapsed into chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to the alleged murder of an anti-racism activist, protests erupted across the country against white supremacy, racism and the presence of Confederate monuments.

Boston, Massachusetts

Tens of thousands counterprotesting a rally purporting to be about free speech swarmed Boston on Saturday, leading to a few conflicts with police and widespread attention from traditional and social media.

A total of 33 arrests were made Saturday in Boston, primarily resulting from disorderly conduct and alleged assaults against police officers, the Boston Police Department said. Police indicated that some demonstrators were throwing rocks and bottles of urine, but that did not represent the majority of participants, according to Police Commissioner William Evans.

"99.9 percent of the people here were for the right reasons" and participated peacefully, Evans said.

Dallas, Texas

Thousands of demonstrators gathered around the area of Dallas City Hall Saturday at a rally calling for unity, according to ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.

More than a dozen activists, politicians and faith leaders spoke prior to a candlelight vigil, the affiliate reported.

Tensions were high near Confederate War Memorial Park, where calls have been growing to remove statues commemorating Civil War veterans who fought for the Confederacy, WFAA-TV reported.

Cotton candy and caramel apples for sale for $3 in the middle of this protest against Dallas' Confederate War Memorial. pic.twitter.com/SdWNhGmTP1

— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) August 20, 2017

Monuments commemorating the Confederacy on public land "must be and will be removed," Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway said at a Friday press conference, which featured black members of Dallas's City Council, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Kevin Felder, one of the City Council members, said "taxpayer dollars should not support vestiges of racism and white supremacy," in reference to the statues, while speaking at Friday's press conference.

Five people were detained during Saturday’s rally and then released without charges, the Dallas Police Department told ABC News.

Memphis, Tennessee

Six demonstrators were arrested in Memphis following a rally to remove a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slavetrader and lieutenant general who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, according to ABC affiliate WATN-TV.

The monument has become a flashpoint of tension between anti-racism activists, who covered it with anti-racist signs on Saturday, and those who seek to protect the history of the Confederacy.

Gene Andrews, a caretaker for Nathan Bedford Forrest's boyhood home and a participant in the white nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville last week, told the Tennessean newspaper that tensions over the monuments were building.

"I think people have had enough," Andrews told the paper. "Somewhere there’s going to be a line drawn. And if it’s a war that’s coming, so be it."

Our beloved @tamisawyer and other activists calling on @MayorMemphis remove Confederate statues. #TakeEmDown901 pic.twitter.com/bwjtTmEimp

— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) August 16, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia

Hundreds of groups gathered in Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday in Atlanta to march against racism and hate, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

The march ended at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the affiliate reported.

Hundreds of anti-racism marchers quietly filing into Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. #Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/gTApyUpWbI

— Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) August 20, 2017

Indianapolis, Indiana

Anthony Ventura, a 30-year-old man, was arrested after police said he damaged the Confederate statue with a hammer, according to ABC affiliate WRTV.

Laguna Beach, California

In Laguna Beach on Saturday, a group of about 300 demonstrators met for a pre-emptive response to a far-right rally planned for that day, the Los Angeles Times reported. At the rally, participants planned to call attention to victims of crimes committed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Thank you to Saturday's rally at Main Beach for staying peaceful while expressing your First Amendment rights. #LagunaBeach pic.twitter.com/mufznrEBIL

— Laguna Beach Police (@LagunaBeachPD) August 19, 2017

Saturday’s gathering of counterprotesters, which was set up to show solidarity and strength, was officially called “From Charlottesville to Laguna Beach: We Stand Together.” Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman helped organize the event and spoke to the crowd on Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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