Biden issues emergency declaration for Mississippi after tornado kills dozens: Early Sunday, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration in Mississippi. Federal funding was available to Carroll and Humphreys counties, Monroe, Sharkey, and Monroe counties. These were the hardest-hit areas Friday night by the deadly tornado that decimated the Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Delta is one of America’s poorest regions.
Several News confirmed that at least 26 people died in Mississippi and Alabama during the storm’s hour-long path. Numerous others were also injured.
After hundreds of people had been evacuated, search and rescue crews resumed the difficult task of digging through the rubble of flattened and damaged homes, commercial buildings, and municipal offices on Sunday.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, and Deanne Criswell, FEMA Administrator, traveled to Mississippi on Sunday to assess the damage.
Mayorkas stated Sunday that in disasters such as this, “there are no strangers” and that everyone comes together, everybody is a neighbor, and everyone is family. They cannot do this alone. FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security will continue to support them. All federal agencies are available to help these communities.
Criswell stated at a press conference that FEMA was here. We are still committed to Mississippi’s people.
Criswell said that we will be there for you right now and we will be with your next week. We will also be here long after the cameras have gone to assist you with any recovery issues.
John Boyle, FEMA Coordinating Officer, has been appointed to supervise federal recovery operations. The White House stated in a statement that federal funding is now available for disaster recovery efforts, including home repairs and temporary housing. It also covers loans to cover uninsured property loss and other programs.
The twister swept away entire blocks of houses, destroyed homes, tore down steeples from churches, and toppled a municipal water tower. Even though recovery is just beginning, the National Weather Service warned that there was a risk for more severe weather Sunday in eastern Louisiana and south-central Mississippi. This includes large hail and possible tornadoes.
The National Weather Service office in Jackson tweeted late Saturday that the tornado had received a preliminary EF-4 rating based on early data. According to the service, an EF-4 tornado can produce wind speeds between 166 mph (166 kph) and 200 mph (265 kph or 320 kph). Jackson said it was still collecting information about the tornado.
A tornado struck a large area of Rolling Fork’s 2,000-person population, causing 13 deaths. Homes were reduced to rubble and cars flipped on their sides. The town’s water tower was also toppled. Others in the Deep South were also recovering from damage caused by other suspected twisters. According to a tweet from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, one man was killed.
Pope Francis offered a special prayer to Mississippi’s victims of a tornado during Sunday’s noon blessing over St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
Rodney Porter, who lives 20 miles (32 km) south of Rolling Fork, said that “how anyone survived is unknown to me.” He drove to the scene of Friday’s storm and immediately tried to help in any way possible. Porter arrived at the scene of “total destruction” and stated that he smelled natural gasoline and could hear people shouting for help in the darkness.
He said, “Houses gone, houses stacked on top houses with vehicles on them,”
Pastor Greg Procter, instead of leading Sunday worship services, was digging through the remains of the Chapel of the Cross. The tornado ripped the chapel’s roof and destroyed the bell tower. A new stained glass window in honor of a long-serving church member was one of the few things that survived.
Annette Body, a local Belozi resident, drove from Belozi to Silver City to assess the damage. She stated that she felt “blessed” that her home wasn’t destroyed but that other people lost everything.
She cried last night and cried again this morning, as she looked around at the flattened houses. “They told you to get cover, but it happened so quickly that many people didn’t even have a chance to get cover.”
Many storm survivors were dazed and shocked as they walked around Saturday looking for survivors. They cut through densely coiled debris and fell trees with their chainsaws and searched for them. The roots of power lines were torn from their ground, and they were pinned beneath decades-old oaks.
Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves declared a state emergency and promised to rebuild the region after he saw the extent of the damage. The area is dotted with large areas of cotton, corn, soybean, and catfish farm ponds. Biden also called him, as did the state’s congressional delegation.
Mississippi opened more than half a dozen shelters to accommodate those who were displaced.
Based on radar data and storm reports, preliminary information indicates that the tornado was on the ground for over an hour. It traveled at least 170 miles (274 km), according to Lance Perrilloux of the National Weather Service’s Jackson office.
He said that it was rare, and very, very rare, to explain the long path to widespread atmospheric instability.
Perrilloux stated that preliminary research showed that the tornado started its path of destruction southwest of Rolling Fork, before moving northeast towards Midnight and Silver City, and then on to Tchula and Black Hawk before reaching Winona.
According to Brian Squitieri (a severe storms forecaster at the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, Norman, Oklahoma), the supercell that produced the deadly twister also seemed to produce tornadoes, causing damage in northwest Alabama and north-central Alabama.
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