Trump issues disaster declaration for storm-ravaged Georgia

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. With his rejection of an Asian trade pact, Trump has started tackling policy changes that could inadvertently give China room to assert itself as a regional leader and worsen strains over the South China Sea and Taiwan. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — President Donald Trump has declared a federal disaster in Georgia, where severe storms and tornadoes killed 15 people over the weekend.

A statement from the White House issued Wednesday says the declaration makes federal aid available to help with recovery efforts.

At least 21 twisters were confirmed by the National Weather Service to have touched down in Georgia over the weekend, when a midwinter outbreak of thunderstorms and tornadoes threatened millions from Louisiana to the Carolinas.

The storms were blamed for at least 20 deaths in the Southeast: 15 in Georgia, four in Mississippi and one in Florida.

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