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Tornado kills 6 in Georgia

In 2 counties, at least 25 taken to hospitals

SYLVESTER, Ga. — A tornado touched down in two counties in southwestern Georgia before dawn Thursday, killing at least six people and injuring at least 25.

Two people were killed near Bridgeboro, a rural community in southern Worth County, said Michelle McMickin, the county's deputy director of emergency management.

Four others were killed in Mitchell County, said Donna Etchells, secretary at the sheriff's department. At least one person was still missing just after 9 a.m., she said, and an unknown number were injured.

The twister carved a quarter-mile swath of damage south of Camilla, knocking down trees and destroying buildings.

This is the same area where a tornado struck on Valentine's Day 2000, killing 11 people in Camilla. It was one of three deadly twisters that ripped through the region before dawn, killing 20 people in all.

"It's a mess, but not quite as bad as last time," said Camilla water department employee Joseph Willingham, who estimated about 25 homes were damaged and five destroyed.

Dontressia Williams' house — built after the 2000 tornado on land that had been forested before then — was one of those destroyed Thursday. She and her 2-year-old daughter survived by taking refuge in an interior room.

"I was scared," she said. "As I was going into that room, things were falling in, glass was breaking."

Some of the victims lived in mobile homes.

Four injured people were being treated at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, and more are expected, hospital officials said. Ten injured people were taken to a hospital in Mitchell County, and 11 were taken to a hospital in Thomasville.

Officials from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies were headed to the area.

On Wednesday, a storm packing high winds, heavy rain and hail killed a 75-year-old man in Tennessee. Ray Wollum died when his mobile home near Cookeville was leveled at about 11:30 a.m., said Mike Hellman, spokesman for the Cookeville-Putnam County Emergency Management Agency.