President says he is offering full federal support and is praying with Jill for ‘those who have lost loved ones’ in Mississippi’s ‘devastating tornadoes’
- U.S. president Joe Biden has offered his full federal support to communities devastated by a vicious weather system which spawned 24 tornadoes
- The powerful tornadoes developed from a storm that carved a ferocious path northeastward across Mississippi and parts of Alabama at 80mph
- At least 25 people were killed across the two states, a majority in Mississippi but as search-and-rescue teams comb the rubble they say they can expect more
President Joe Biden spoke with state and local leaders after a deadly storm that spawned 24 twisters ripped through Mississippi and parts of Alabama.
The powerful tornadoes developed from a storm that carved a ferocious path northeastward across Mississippi and parts of Alabama at 80mph, according to AccuWeather.
At least 25 people were killed across the two states, a majority in Mississippi but as search-and-rescue teams comb the rubble they say they can expect that number to rise.
Biden said that he’s ‘praying for those who have lost loved ones’ and ‘for those whose loved ones are missing.’
In a statement, the president wrote that he had reached out to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, that he had spoken with Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, and that he had touched base with Rep. Bennie Thompson about the situation.
President Joe Biden spoke with state and local leaders after a deadly storm that spawned 24 twisters ripped through Mississippi and parts of Alabama
Reeves arrived in Rolling Fork on Saturday along with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He said that he has the full support of U.S. president Joe Biden who assured him over the phone that FEMA would be there to ‘support’ the response
He expressed condolences and offered ‘full federal support as communities recover from the effects of this storm.’
Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Deanne Criswell were also among people Biden reached out to in the wake of the devastation.
‘[She] has already deployed emergency response personnel and resources to support search-and-rescue and assess the damage,’ he said.
‘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.’
FEMA tweeted: ‘Following last night’s devastating tornadoes, we are coordinating with @MSEMA officials to support affected communities.’
‘We are working closely with our state partners to assess the impacted areas. Our thoughts are with those communities and their loved ones.’
The rural towns of Silver City and Rolling Fork, about 60 miles northeast of Jackson, Mississippi, were the hardest hit after a tornado hit the area just after 8 pm Friday
Aerial footage shot on a drone from Rolling Fork filmed early Saturday morning revealed gutted homes, battered vehicles lodged among rubble and resident’s belongings scattered across the wasteland.
Other images from the town revealed shattered residents wandering through the town pouring over the debris hoping to save what valuables they had left.
As dawn broke over Mississippi, the trail of destruction left by the powerful tornadoes lay bare.
Reeves declared a state of emergency after 24 twisters tore through the state killing dozens, injuring others and leaving a trail of destruction likened to a ‘war zone’
Residents from hard hit Rolling Fork greeted Reeves as he surveyed the damage to the small town
Meanwhile, a 67-year-old Alabama man has been killed after being trapped inside his mobile home during the Friday night tornadoes, CNN reported.
A spokesperson for the Morgan County emergency department confirmed the death and told the outlet it was unclear whether one powerful tornado or two separate storms devastated the area.
The Morgan County fatality is the only recorded so far in Alabama and has raised the death toll for the entire storm system to 24.
It comes as authorities revealed that a husband and wife were found dead in their Rolling Fork home after winds sent a neighbor’s 18-wheel truck slamming into their home.
Rolling Fork resident Shanta Howard said the community had pulled together to help with the operation.
‘Everybody is helping everybody, not just this part of town – it’s everywhere,’ she told WAPT 16.
‘Everybody is helping and praying for everybody. As you can see, nobody has a home here.
‘We had to help dead bodies out of the house. That is very disturbing – actually seeing people losing their lives over bad weather like this.
‘What was going through my head? ‘Lord I don’t want to die. I don’t want me or the kids to die.’
Shelters were opened in Mississippi for people forced from their homes by the tornadoes in Sharkey, Monroe and Humphreys counties.
Shelters were opened in Mississippi for people forced from their homes by the tornadoes in Sharkey, Monroe and Humphreys counties
Search and rescue teams have now been deployed to Rolling Fork, along with ambulances
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency met on Saturday morning to get more information about the overnight storms and plan how to tackle the devastation
The main threats Saturday were damaging winds and isolated tornadoes as the larger storm system heads east and is expected to push off the East Coast by the evening.
On Sunday, a Level 2 out of 5 risk is in place across portions of the South for another round of severe storms that will bring damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and severe hail to the area.
The areas impacted will include Montgomery in Alabama, Jackson in Mississippi, and Columbus and Macon in Georgia.
Flooding could also pose a threat across portions of the South, as an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain is possible through Sunday.
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