By Tia Lynn Ivey
As storms ravaged areas of North and Central Georgia Sunday evening through Monday morning, prompting a State of Emergency declaration from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Morgan County was spared while surrounding counties suffered damage.
“We were in the middle of the doughnut,” said Gwen Ruark, director of Morgan County’s Emergency Management Agent. “The storms went above us and below us.”
According to Ruark, just four trees went down in the county when the wind kicked up after the storms passed and caused “no significant” damage. “Putnam, Greene and Walton counties had a lot more trees down.”
No injuries or property damage has been reported in Morgan County due to the storms, according to Ruark.
At least six Georgians were killed during the severe storms which caused heavy rain, forceful winds, and even tornadoes. According the to Capitol Beat, five people at two mobile home parks were killed near Chatsworth. The sixth victim was killed in Cartersville after a tree fell on his house while he was asleep.
On Monday, more than 177,000 Georgians lost power and were left without electricity.
The new State of Emergency will proceed alongside the public health state of emergency declared in Georgia due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Gov. Kemp.
“The responses by the state to this state of emergency for storm damage and the public health state of emergency should both proceed simultaneously, without one impeding the other,” an executive order the governor issued Monday stated.
According to the Capitol Beat, Monday’s executive order will remain in effect for 10 days, until April 23.
The order authorizes the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to bring “all resources” of the state to bear to respond to the affected areas and help with recovery.