Weekly wrap-up: Deadly tornadoes charge over southern US; Trump revives controversial pipeline work

Topic driven playlist

A severe weather outbreak tore through parts of the southern United States last weekend, killing at least 20.

At least 15 fatalities occurred in southern Georgia on Sunday, the Associated Press reported. Seven deaths occurred when a tornado destroyed about 20 mobile homes in the community of Adel, Georgia, which is located about 30 miles north of the Florida-Georgia border. Another four were killed in Albany, Georgia, when an EF2 tornado ripped through a mobile home park.

Emergency Management Director Ron Rowe said the town took a direct hit from the tornado that caused "total destruction."

A violent tornado also ripped across Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Saturday, causing widespread damage and killing at least four people.


Shanise McMorris grieves on the slab of her Hattiesburg, Miss., home after an early tornado hit the city, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. The tornado was part of a wall of stormy weather traveling across the region, bringing with it rain and unstable conditions. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The same storm system advanced northward and brought sleet and howling winds to the Northeast.

The storm unloaded 1 to 3 inches of sleet from New York to Maine early in the week. Strong winds caused minor damage on Long Island, New York, as 55-mph gusts toppled trees on some homes.

The high winds created large waves and pushed Atlantic Ocean water toward the coast. The crashing waves caused significant beach erosion in parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

Static North Wildwood beach erosion

Major beach erosion occurred along the New Jersey coast from Monday night to Tuesday. This scene was captures in North Wildwood, New Jersey. (Photo/North Wildwood Police Department)

In California, a weekend storm prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for 50 counties.

Between 2 and 4 inches of rain fell on coastal Southern California during Sunday alone, which had first responders busy setting up roadblocks, performing swift water rescues, clearing debris and repairing power lines.

In his first full week in office, President Trump signed several controversial executive orders, including one intending to revive work on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

Work on both pipelines was halted under President Obama after environmental and Native American activists raised concerns over the pipelines.

"We're going to renegotiate some of the terms and if they'd like, we'll see if we can get that pipeline built," Trump said.

The proposed pipelines would carry crude oil from Canada and parts of the Dakotas into Texas.

President Trump also issued a memorandum calling for all future pipelines to be built with American-made materials.