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Several small rural towns in Mississippi have been wiped off the map due to a powerful and deadly tornado that swept through the state on Friday night.
As of now, they estimate 24 people are dead, and officials expect that number to rise significantly.
Many experts believe this latest storm was an EF5 tornado – that’s a tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour.
The last tornado to have an EF5 damage rating occurred in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013.
Rescuers were pulling people from rubble across rural Mississippi on Saturday morning, after at least one deadly tornado ripped through the state as part of a powerful storm system that left 23 dead. The storms hit late Friday, blowing out windows, ripping up trees and leveling homes and businesses.
The center of the destruction appeared to be in the town of Rolling Fork in Sharkey County, Miss., where witnesses said the main commercial strip had been devastated and the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado had touched down. The mayor, Eldridge Walker, told CNN: “My city is gone.”
The morning light has revealed complete and utter devastation.
MORNING LIGHT REVEALS A DEVASTATION IN #MISSISSIPPI 24+ have been killed by a long track #Tornado that was over a half-mile wide! Looking over these images it appears we have a high-end EF4 poss EF5 Tornado (last 5 to hit nearly 10 years ago) pic.twitter.com/lPWdwA7nfs
— Mike Masco (@MikeMasco) March 25, 2023
The storm not only hit Mississippi, it also tore through parts of Alabama and Tennessee.
The tornado and storms knocked out power for more than 83,000 homes and businesses.
Mississippi took the greatest hit, and officials are still feverishly searching for victims.
If you’re looking to help the folks in Mississippi you can donate to the Salvation Army at www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Information about local services of the Salvation Army can be found on the Jackson, Miss. chapter page.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has ben impacted by this devastating tornado.
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