At least 24 people were killed in Mississippi after a tornado touched down just after sunset Friday in a storm system that brought wind, heavy rain, gusty winds and hail as it moved across the South.
A storm system swept across Mississippi and spawned a tornado that touched down and caused catastrophic damage to communities across the state. In Rolling Fork, a rural area about 60 miles northwest of the state capital of Jackson, what were once buildings are now piles of strewn debris. The twister was moving northeast, destroying rural communities.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the tornado caused damage about 60 miles northeast of Jackson, Mississippi. Silver City and Rolling Fork reported devastation as the tornado continued to barrel northeast at 70 mph, unabated, racing toward Alabama through towns including Winona and Emory into the night.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said in a Twitter message Friday night that search and rescue teams were on the move and that officials were sending more ambulances and emergency supplies to victims.
“Many in MS Delta need your prayers and God’s protection today,” the post said. “Watch the weather reports and be careful all night, Mississippi!”
Officials are now asking for help while residents survey the damage left behind by the storm. Thousands of people in the region are still without power, according to poweroutage.us.
“Every trace in this town is (gone),” said Roger Cummings of Silver City, who said his nephew died in the storm.
Forecasters have been warning of an outbreak of severe weather for days, even launching a balloon on Thursday. The deadly winds followed devastating storms that swept through the region on Thursday and Friday.
In southern Missouri, a car with six teenagers was swept away by floodwaters. Two of them did not survive.
At least two tornadoes tore through north Texas on Friday with winds of 100 mph.
Eric Huntley excavated what remained of his home.
“As soon as I got the alarm, I went to look outside and then I heard a moan,” he said of the storm. “I’ll never forget that sound.”