At least 23 people killed by tornado and thunderstorms in Mississippi
Steph Deschamps / March 26, 2023
At least 23 people were killed in a tornado and thunderstorms in Mississippi, the governor of the southern state said Saturday.
We know many more (people) are injured. Search and rescue teams are still active," Governor Tate Reeves also said on Twitter.
Mississippi State Emergency Services (MSEMA) further noted on Twitter, "unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change" upward.
"The state has deployed relief assets to Sharkey and Humphreys counties," about 110 kilometers north of the Jackson capital, MSEMA's Malary White told ABC.
We have put the medical support system into action - increasing the number of ambulances and other emergency devices to (assist) those affected," tweeted Tate Reeves.
Television footage showed flattened houses and debris strewn across roads as emergency services tried to reach people in need of help.
My town no longer exists," the mayor of Rolling Fork, a town of about 2,000 people in west-central Mississippi that was particularly hard hit by the tornado, told CNN.
According to ABC, at least 13 people died in Sharkey County, as well as three in neighboring Carroll County and two in Monroe County.
In addition, a Silver City Highway Patrolman in Humphreys County reported to ABC that one person was killed.
"As far as the extent of the damage, we won't have that until daybreak," Malary White said.
"Our priority at this point, especially for emergency services, is (ensuring) the safety of lives and locating people to verify they are safe," she explained on local CBS News affiliate WJTV.
Tornado warnings had been issued Friday in several counties in the state, but by 2:48 a.m. Saturday, the Jackson branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) had indicated that "the tornado watch was lifted in the entire affected area. »
"New showers and more thunderstorms are expected in our area," he had tweeted, noting that "they should not be strong according to the forecast. »