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Gov. Kemp to survey storm damage in south Georgia

Severe storms raked across far south Georgia on Thursday afternoon and evening.

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will be visiting two areas of southeast Georgia on Friday morning to survey damage from Friday's devastating storms.

Kemp is expected to go to Mitchell County to view damage in the Pelham area, followed by a visit to Cook County to view damage in the Adel area.

Many areas of south and southeast Georgia were hard-hit by strong storms on Thursday afternoon and evening. 

According to law enforcement in Pierce County, a tornado with a strength of at least EF-0 touched down in that county after 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service offices in Jacksonville and Tallahassee said they would be determining plans for potential tornado survey damage as the day progresses on Friday.

As Kemp surveys the damage, he will be joined by Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Gary Vowell and GEMA Director Homer Bryson.

It is anticipated that at those stops, the governor will receive questions from journalists about his decision to aggressively begin to reopen the state on Friday, in spite of suggestions by medical professionals to exercise caution in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. 

Kemp announced earlier this week that hair salons, barbers, nail salons, gyms, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys would be permitted to reopen on Friday with stringent social distancing guidelines in place. 

On Monday, Kemp said that sit-down restaurants and movie theaters will be added to the list.

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