Biden declares state of emergency as crew digs up storm debris

President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Mississippi early Sunday morning, providing federal funding to Carroll, Humphries, Monroe, and Sharkey counties. Those counties were among the hardest hit by the deadly tornado that hit the Mississippi Delta Friday night, making him one of the poorest in the Mississippi.we

At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured in Mississippi after a massive storm hit several towns for an hour. A man has died after his mobile home flipped over several times in Alabama.

Search and recovery workers resumed the arduous task of digging up the rubble of collapsed and crumbling homes, commercial buildings and city hall on Sunday after hundreds were forced from their homes.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Dean Criswell was scheduled to visit the state on Sunday to assess the destruction.

FEMA Coordinator John Boyle has been appointed to oversee federal recovery efforts. federal funds can be used for recovery efforts, including loans to cover property losses and other personal and corporate programs.

The Twister flattened entire blocks, demolished homes, ripped spires from churches, and knocked over the city’s water tower. Although the recovery has just begun, the National Weather Service warned on Sunday that there is a risk of more severe weather in eastern Louisiana, south-south Mississippi and south-south Alabama, including strong winds, severe hail and the possibility of tornadoes. bottom.

Based on early data, the tornado received a preliminary EF-4 rating, the National Weather Service in Jackson tweeted late Saturday. Gusts of wind (265 to 320 km/h) blow. The Jackson office warned that it was still gathering information about the tornado.

The tornado devastated the entire town of Rolling Fork, population 2,000, turning homes into heaps of rubble, overturning cars and knocking down the town’s water tower. Other parts of the Deep South were digging up from damage caused by other suspected Twisters in Morgan County, Alabama, where one man died, the state’s sheriff’s office said in a tweet. rice field.

Pope Francis offered a special prayer for the people of Mississippi “hit by a devastating tornado” during his weekly noontime blessing overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday.

Rodney Porter, who lives 20 miles (32 km) south of Rolling Fork, said, “I don’t know how anyone survived. When the storm hit Friday night, he quickly got his car there. Porter arrived to find “absolute devastation” and said he smelled natural gas and heard people screaming for help in the dark. rice field.

“Houses are gone, houses are piled on top of houses and cars are on top of them,” he said.

Annette Body drove from nearby Beloji to Silver City, where the damage was most severe, to investigate the damage. She said she felt “blessed” because her own home wasn’t destroyed, but she felt that her other people she knew had lost everything. I was.

“I cried last night, I cried this morning,” she said, looking around the collapsed houses. She said, “They said you needed to hide, but it happened so quickly that many people didn’t even get the chance to hide.

Many were dazed and shocked as survivors of the storm roamed Saturday, chainsawing through dense debris and fallen trees in search of survivors. Power lines were anchored under a decades-old oak tree, its roots torn from the ground.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency, pledging to help rebuild areas after seeing the damage in areas dotted with cotton, corn and soybean fields and catfish ponds. He also spoke with Biden, who also held calls with state congressional delegations.

More than half a dozen shelters have been opened in Mississippi to house displaced people.

Preliminary information, based on extrapolations from storm reports and radar data, indicates that the tornado has been on the ground for more than an hour and has traveled at least 170 miles (274 kilometers), according to the National Weather Service’s Jackson, Mississippi office. meteorologist Lance Pellelou said. .

“It’s rare. Very rare,” he said, attributing a long way to widespread atmospheric instability.

Pellilou said the tornado began its path of destruction just southwest of Rolling Fork before heading northeast toward the rural areas of Midnight and Silver City before heading toward Chula, Black Hawk and Winona.

Supercell, which created the deadly twister, also appears to have created a tornado that wreaked havoc in northwestern and north-central Alabama, said a severe storm forecaster at the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Brian Squitieri said.


Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press writer in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. Michael Goldberg of Silver City, Mississippi. Jim Salter of O’Fallon, Missouri, contributed to this report. Biden declares state of emergency as crew digs up storm debris

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