At least 23 people in Mississippi and one in Alabama have died after tornadoes and intense storms have hit the Southern regions of the country, per ABC News.
According to officials from Mississippi’s Emergency Management Agency, 23 people have died in the state as a result of the extreme weather. Meanwhile a man who was rescued by first responders in Alabama died as a result of his injuries. The worst impacted region is Sharkey County in Mississippi, which has seen thirteen deaths according to coroner Angelia Easton. The thunderstorms and tornadoes started late on Friday in the areas of Rolling Fork and Silver City, and left a trail of destruction over 100 miles long.
Mississippi governor Tate Reeves has declared a State of Emergency in the state, and has announced plans to use “every available resource on behalf of our neighbors in need.” He added that he has spoken with President Joe Biden about the tornadoes, and has been informed that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agents have been sent to the state to help with the response.
“Jill and I are praying for those who have lost loved ones in the devastating tornadoes in Mississippi and those whose loved ones are missing,” wrote Biden in a tweet shared on Saturday. “We will do everything we can to help. We will work together to deliver the support you need to recover, for as long as it takes.”
Storm chaser Edgar O’Neal said Rolling Fork in particular was decimated by the tornado that started around that area. "Houses gone. Gas stations destroyed," said O'Neal. "Trees, power lines blocking entrances everywhere. Stray animals. People wandering the streets clearly in shock. There were a lot of people on the ground helping."
Per The New York Times, approximately 60,000 electricity customers in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee are still without power as of Saturday afternoon. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is sending local and state search-and-rescue teams to help those impacted, although they noted the death toll is “unfortunately … expected to change.”