More than 23 people lost their lives when a massive tornado ripped through Mississippi on Friday night. The huge twister destroyed property for more than 100 miles across the state, with the government working overnight to rescue victims and recover bodies. The places most affected by the windstorm are Sharkey, Humphreys, Carroll, and Monroe counties, according to the state’s Emergency Management Agency.
Governor Tate Reeves also confirmed that there were fatalities in the windstorm and that rescue operations were underway. He urged people in Mississippi to sympathize with those that lost loved ones and pray for people hurting from the natural disaster. He stated that the government will be on hand to assist people when everything is over.
“I’m devastated by the destruction and loss of life that these storms have caused,” Reeves said. “The state of Mississippi will continue doing everything we can to marshal every resource available to support our fellow Mississippians who are in need. The state will be there to help them rebuild. We’re not going anywhere, and we’re in it for the long haul. Please join me in praying for the family and friends of those who lost loved ones in this trying time.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has pledged support to people impacted by the tornado. DHS Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke with Gov. Reeves, Senator Wicker, Senator Hyde-Smith, and Congressman Bennie Thompson among others on how to help rebuild communities impacted by the windstorm.
A storm chaser, Edgar O’Neal, reported that houses were destroyed in Rolling Fork and that residents lost property worth millions of dollars. To help rescue workers advance with rescue missions, Atmos Energy cut off gas from Rolling Fork to protect responders. State Coordinator for United Cajun Navy, Jourdan Hartshorn, said he helped recover bodies and described the scenario as Ground Zero.
“Houses gone. Gas stations were destroyed. 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,” O’Neal said.
Hartshorn confirmed the situation. “It’s bad out here,” he said. “It’s literally devastation. Ground Zero. I hate to say it – deceased people left and right. I’m from Mississippi, in the lower end, where hurricanes come in and this is what it looks like. I mean, it looks like ground zero after Katrina.”