Houses reduced to rubble after deadly tornado. Houses have been reduced to piles of rubble in the Mississippi town Rolling Fork as a deadly tornado ripped through several southern US states.
At least 24 people have died after a powerful tornado ripped through several southern US states, destroying buildings and knocking out power.
Severe storms hit Mississippi, Alabama and Texas on Friday, producing hail the size of golf balls and prompting the authorities to warn residents they were in a “life-threatening situation”.
The National Weather Service issued an alert to people in the path of the tornado and said: “To protect your life, TAKE COVER NOW!
“You are in a life-threatening situation. Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter… Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible.”
The tornado caused destruction in the rural Mississippi towns of Silver City and Rolling Fork on Friday night before continuing to sweep northeast towards Alabama at 70mph.
Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker told CNN that his town was essentially wiped out.
Video shot as daylight broke showed houses reduced to piles of rubble, cars flipped on their sides and trees stripped of their branches. Occasionally, in the midst of the wreckage, a home would be spared, seemingly undamaged.
“My city is gone. But we are resilient and we are going to come back strong,” Mr. Walker said.
People were trapped in piles of rubble and damage had caused gas leaks in Rolling Fork; local newspaper Vicksburg News reported the Sharkey County Sheriff’s Office as saying.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said in a Twitter post that search and rescue teams from local and state agencies were deployed to help victims impacted by the tornadoes.
The agency confirmed early on Saturday that 24 people had died, four were missing and dozens were injured.
A few minutes later, the agency tweeted: “Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change.”
Shelters were opened for those whose homes were damaged by the storm. A resident looks through the piles of debris, insulation, and home furnishings to see if anything is salvageable at a tornado demolished mobile home park in Rolling Fork, Miss. March 25, 2023. Emergency officials in Mississippi say several people have been killed by tornadoes that tore through the
state on Friday night, destroying buildings and knocking out power as severe weather produced hail the size of golf balls moved through several southern states.
The damage in Rolling Fork was so widespread that several storm chasers – who follow severe weather and often put-up livestreams showing dramatic funnel clouds – pleaded for search and rescue help. Others abandoned the chase to drive injured people to the hospitals themselves.
The Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital on the west side of Rolling Fork was damaged, WAPT reported.
Some law enforcement units were unaccounted for in Sharkey County where Rolling Fork is based, according to local media.
According to poweroutage.us, 40,000 customers were without power in Tennessee; 15,000 customers were left without power in Mississippi; and 20,000 were without power in Alabama.