At least 23 people were killed after a tornado ripped through Mississippi Friday night, leaving many more injured and some missing in its 100-mile path of destruction.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MSEMA) confirmed the deaths of at least 23 people and injuries to “dozens more” after a tornado touched down approximately 60 miles north of Jackson March 24, centering on the communities of Silver City and Rolling Fork. Four others have been declared missing in the wake of the destruction. As search and rescue teams desperately work across the region, the number of casualties is expected to rise, Fox News reported.
“My city is gone.”
The mayor of Rolling Fork describes the devastation after tornado-spawning storms rolled through Mississippi overnight. At least 23 people have been killed. https://t.co/Qab5jBpVZA pic.twitter.com/ofEkmxgT83
— CNN (@CNN) March 25, 2023
“Complete and utter devastation. Just houses, roofs ripped off of houses, walls took down from houses,” Rolling Fork resident Edgar O’Neil told WAPT News. “I’ve seen several areas where parts of the concrete, the asphalt had been jacked up from the ground. I mean, complete devastation,” he added. (RELATED: ‘All I Could Do Was Start Praying’: Man Survives Being Crushed Inside His Truck By A Tree)
“Houses [were] completely demolished, businesses demolished … pretty much most of the town is unrecognizable right now,” said Baeley Williams, a first responder in Rolling Fork, according to USAToday.
Sharkey County County Coroner Angelia Eason told WAPT that at least 13 of the casualties reported came from Rolling Fork. Two such deaths were a husband and wife, killed after an 18-wheeler slammed into their home.
“The loss will be felt in these towns forever. Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves stated Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center listed at least 11 tornado reports in Mississippi and Alabama during the night’s storms, but is unclear as to whether the devastation was caused by multiple tornados produced by the powerful storm or if the destruction was caused by one far-moving tornado, CNN reported.
Thousands are still without power in the wake of the deadly storm with more than 83,000 homes and businesses across Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee reporting outages, according to tracking site PowerOutage.us.