PEMBROKE, Ga. (WSAV) — Politicians are offering prayers and support for those impacted by the deadly tornado that ripped through Bryan County Tuesday afternoon.
The tornado touched town around 5:40 p.m. near the Bryan County Courthouse in Pembroke, then moved to the Park Place and Homestead neighborhoods, said Matthew Kent, a county government spokesman. The tornado killed one woman in her late 60s and injured nine others.
Gov. Brian Kemp assesed the damage Wednesday and declared a state of emergency to free up state resources for storm recovery and response efforts. The county also remains under a curfew.
“The damage we’ve witnessed today is devastating, and all who were impacted will need their fellow Georgians to rally around them in prayer and support in the coming days,” Kemp tweeted after he concluded his visit.
Bryan County Fire & Emergency Services reported multiple houses with people entrapped. A large tree also toppled over the courthouse and trapped several people inside, employees told WSAV News 3.
Sen. Raphael Warnock also offered up prayers for those in Bryan County and the surrounding area.
“My prayers are with those who were impacted by the tornado that came through Bryan County and other parts of Georgia yesterday. Please know that my office is here to help with any assistance that might be needed in the wake of this storm,” Warnock tweeted.
While severe weather is expected to continue Wednesday, storms are not expected to repeat yesterday’s carnage as of now. A tornado watch was issued for Savannah and surrounding areas until 11 p.m. A watch means that tornadoes are possible and if a warning is issued, those in the area are urged to take cover.
Mayor Van Johnson also cautioned residents to pay attention to weather reports for continued severe weather Wednesday.
“Ensure you are monitoring weather alerts!” Johnson tweeted.
Rep. Buddy Carter thanked the Ellabell United Methodist Church and the Bryan County Family Connection for their work on the ground helping residents.
“As Bryan County begins its recovery from yesterday’s horrific tornadoes, my staff and I are hard at work ensuring everyone who needs help receives it,” Carter tweeted. “The loss of lives and homes is tragic; thankfully, our community is coming together to ensure no one suffers alone.”
Anyone who would like to help those affected by the tornado can call the American Red Cross at 912-767-2197 for Fort Stewart or 912-651-5300 for Savannah. Ellabell United Methodist Church is also taking donations.