Mississippi faces MORE extreme weather after tornados killed 26

Tornado-ravaged Mississippi faces MORE extreme weather after deadly storms killed at least 26 and displaced thousands as Biden declares a state of emergency

  • Weather service warned residents of potential new ‘supercell thunderstorms’
  • These could ‘produce a few strong tornadoes and very large hail’ in Mississippi

Tornado-ravaged Mississippi is facing more extreme weather after deadly storms have killed at least 26 and displaced thousands as Biden decleared a state of emergency. 

The tornadoes tore through Mississippi and neighbouring state Alabama on Friday night and left a trail of havoc more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) long across the state.

At least 25 people have died in Mississippi, with another person confirmed dead in Alabama. Among the victims were a three-year-old who died alongside her dad who died after a tornado hit their home in Wren, Mississippi.

After President Joe Biden freed up disaster aid, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned residents of Mississippi and neighboring Alabama of potential new ‘supercell thunderstorms’ through late Sunday that could ‘produce a few strong tornadoes and very large hail.’ 

Search-and-rescue workers surveyed the damage of shredded homes, flattened buildings and smashed cars in Rolling Fork, a small town all but wiped out by nature’s wrath.

Search and rescue team members continue to look for tornado victims on March 26, 2023 in Rolling Fork, Mississippi

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows destroyed businesses and homes near Blues Highway in Rolling Fork

The NWS gave Friday’s tornado a rating of four out of five on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with ferocious winds of up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) per hour, and classified it as ‘violent’.

Dozens of people have also been injured, and officials say the death toll could rise.

PICTURED: Couple who died in each other’s arms when 200mph Mississippi tornado crashed 18-wheeler into their home – as survivors describe ‘war zone’ after twisters killed 26 – READ MORE

Under warm spring sunshine and cloudless blue skies, stunned residents walked among obliterated homes, sifting through debris and comforting one another as crews fought fires, conducted searches and cleared emergency routes.

Before-and-after satellite images released late Sunday showed utter ruin across parts of Rolling Fork, with homes destroyed and trees ripped out of the earth.

The American Red Cross moved into a National Guard building in Rolling Fork hours after the storm razed much of the town, home to around 2,000 people.

An area was set up as an infirmary and boxes full of food and medical supplies were shuttled in to support storm victims who had lost everything, said John Brown, a Red Cross official for Alabama and Mississippi.

Anna Krisuta, 43, and her 16-year-old son Alvaro Llecha took shelter at the site, saying their house was in pieces.

The severe weather also left a man dead in Alabama when he was trapped under an overturned trailer, the sheriff’s office in Morgan County said.

Officials including US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas gathered in Rolling Fork Sunday afternoon, praising rescue efforts and pledging support ‘for the long haul.’

‘It is heartbreaking to hear of the loss of life, to see the devastation firsthand,’ Mayorkas told a press conference held with Governor Tate Reeves and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) head Deanne Criswell.

Debris is strewn about tornado damaged homes, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Rolling Fork, Mississippi

The tornadoes tore through Mississippi and neighbouring state Alabama on Friday night and left a trail of havoc more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) long across the state 

The National Weather Service gave the tornado a preliminary rating of a four out of five on the Enhanced Fujita scale

This combination of satellite images shows Walnut street in Rolling Fork, Mississippi before and after a powerful tornado leveled much of the southern US town on March 24, 2023

People collect essentials at a relief center in Silver City, Mississippi in the aftermath of a deadly tornado

James Brown, standing, surveys the damage at the home of his sister Melissa Pierce and her husband, L.A. Pierce, on 7th Street in Rolling Fork, where an 18-wheeler (pictured in the background) crushed their house. Their son Dave Brown is pictured sitting on the ground

He warned that the country is seeing ‘extreme weather events increasing… in gravity, severity and frequency and we have to build our communities to be best prepared for them.’

Earlier Sunday, Criswell said on ABC that the tornado zone was ‘still very much in life-saving, life-sustaining mode.’

She praised first responders, saying some ‘may have lost their homes themselves,’ and that FEMA had sent teams, with more on their way, to ‘help plan for and start the recovery process.’

Biden’s emergency order to support recovery efforts will provide grants for temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, the White House said on Sunday.

Reeves thanked Biden on Twitter ‘for recognizing the scale of the damage in Mississippi and quickly approving our disaster declaration – a critical step in disaster response.’

Electricity repairs were underway Sunday to restore service, but by evening the number of customers without power rose to 61,000 total in thunderstorm-hit Mississippi and Alabama, monitor poweroutage.us reported.

A resident embraces an emergency responder near a fire at a home in Rolling Fork, in the southern US state of Mississippi, after a deadly tornado hammered the area

A view of the destruction in Rolling Fork after deadly tornadoes and severe storms tore through the US state of Mississippi, United States on March 26

Volunteers poured in from surrounding towns, including Lauren Hoda, who traveled 70 miles from Vicksburg to help.

‘When I woke up this morning, I wanted to cry for the people of this town because I don’t think they had much time before (the tornado) came,’ she said.

She spent Saturday night in Rolling Fork bringing donations of water, food, canned goods, diapers, wipes, medicine and toothpaste from collection points.

‘Everything I can see is in some state of destruction,’ said Jarrod Kunze, who drove to the hard-hit Mississippi town of Rolling Fork from his home in Alabama, ready to help ‘in whatever capacity I’m needed.’

Kunze was among volunteers working Sunday at a staging area, where bottled water and other supplies were being readied for distribution.

The storm hit so quickly that the sheriff’s department in Rolling Fork barely had time to set off sirens to warn the community of 2,000 residents, said Mayor Eldridge Walker.

The storm hit so quickly that the sheriff’s department in Rolling Fork barely had time to set off sirens to warn the community of 2,000 residents, said Mayor Eldridge Walker

The mayor of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, said his town was devastated

A man man walks past the shattered windshield of a car as he clears a damaged house in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after a tornado touched down in the area

‘And by the time they initiated the siren, the storm had hit and it tore down the siren that’s located right over here,’ Walker said, referring to an area just blocks from downtown.

The mayor said his town was devastated.

‘Sharkey County, Mississippi, is one of the poorest counties in the state of Mississippi, but we’re still resilient,’ he said. ‘We’ve got a long way to go, and we certainly thank everybody for their prayers and for anything they will do or can do for this community.’

In twister-hit Silver City, residents were seen salvaging what they could from their destroyed homes.

Tornadoes, a weather phenomenon notoriously difficult to predict, are relatively common in the United States, especially in the central and southern parts of the country.

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