Devastating Deep South Tornadoes: 26 Killed and Countless Lives Changed Forever

by Madison Thomas
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Rescuers worked really quickly on Saturday to search for people who were hurt or lost during a huge tornado in Mississippi. Sadly, at least twenty-five people died, and many more were injured. A lot of houses were ruined and blown apart in one small town in Mississippi Delta, and the storm caused destruction for over an hour. Also, somebody was killed by the tornado in Alabama as well.

The tornado caused a lot of destruction in the town of Rolling Fork. It destroyed homes, flipped cars and knocked down the water tower. During the storm, people hid in bath tubs and hallways. Afterward, they got into a store called John Deere and set it up to help people who were injured.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency tweeted on Saturday evening and said that 25 people have died in a storm and many more have been injured. Four people who were reported to be missing earlier were found later. Wonder Bolden, standing outside her mother’s destroyed mobile home, said “The storm has left nothing here.” Her granddaughter Journey was by her side.

Other parts of the south were cleaning up from destruction caused by suspected tornadoes. A man also sadly died in Morgan County, Alabama according to their police department.

Wonder Bolden was standing outside her mother’s destroyed mobile home with her granddaughter Journey in Rolling Fork. “Everything is gone,” she said, “you can almost feel the wind rushing through and there’s nothing left.”

On Saturday, she and other people were going around the area with chain saws to cut away broken pieces of wood and look for anyone who might have been hurt. Large trees that had been there for many years had fallen over, causing wires to get quickly get stuck underneath them.

The Governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, declared a State of Emergency and promised to help rebuild while visiting an area with cotton, corn, soybean crops and fish ponds. President Joe Biden also felt sad after seeing the damage and offered federal help.

The destruction in Rolling Fork was so intense that a group of people called storm chasers, who usually film the bad weather and post it on the internet, were asking for help with searching and rescuing. Other chasers abandoned their chase to drive hurt people to the hospital. But there was an issue; the hospital on the west side of town had been damaged too, so patients had to move somewhere else.

Sheddrick Bell and his family were scared as they hid in the closet of their Rolling Fork home while a tornado passed by. His two daughters couldn’t stop crying, and the partner was muttering prayers loudly in fear. Sheddrick just wanted to make sure he was safe and his thoughts were, ‘If I can still be alive at this moment then things will be okay.’

Rodney Porter, who lives near Rolling Fork, said he couldn’t believe that anyone made it through the storm alive. He was there delivering supplies, like water and fuel, to families in need. He said it looked like a bomb had gone off; houses were toppled over and gas lines had to be cut for safety reasons. The National Weather Service released a warning telling people to take cover immediately before the storm hit.

According to estimates from storm reports and radar data, the weather stayed bad for over an hour and spread out to at least 170 miles. That’s really rare! The Jackson, Mississippi meteorologist office’s Lance Perrilloux said it was due to all the bad weather conditions being just right.

The experts say that the tornado started in Rolling Fork and went towards Midnight, Silver City Tchula, Black Hawk and Winona. Also, a storm at the same time caused some damage in parts of Alabama. This is according to Brian Squitieri from Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma.

Yesterday, in Morgan County, Alabama during a stormy night, first responders found and saved a 67-year-old man who got stuck under a flipped trailer. Sadly, the man passed away after being taken to the hospital. After viewing what happened, survey teams are now looking into how many tornadoes there were in that area and if it was really severe. The Storm Prediction Center is warning of the possibility of hail, strong winds and maybe even some tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi today.

Cornel Knight was at his relative’s home in Rolling Fork when a tornado hit with him, his wife, and their 3-year-old daughter. He said the sky was really dark but you could tell where it was coming from because of all the electric transformers exploding.

Also, he mentioned a different relative’s house that was across a cornfield away from his location got really hit hard by it since one of its walls fell down on some people inside.

Royce Steed, the emergency manager in Humphreys County where Silver City is located, said it’s like a hurricane hit this town, maybe even worse than Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He said that almost everything here was wiped off the map!

Noel Crook lives in Silver City with his wife and was one of those affected; all their roof went flying off!

Crook said, “It’s pointless to stress over what happened yesterday and there’s no use worrying about tomorrow. Right now is all we have.”

As the tornado kept moving closer to the town of Amory, located approximately 25 miles away from Tupelo, a Mississippi meteorologist felt compelled to pray out loud during a live broadcast. Matt Laubhan said with urgency, “Lord Jesus, please help all those in danger! Amen.”

The town is in an emergency so there’s a curfew and people are boiling their water. The Salvation Army has opened up several shelters to help those who have been forced to leave their homes. William Trueblood, the director of Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Division, has expressed his happiness to be able to give out hot meals to those in need.

He said around 19,000 homes were badly damaged by the bad weather. But there were signs of hope when fewer than 75,000 people in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama had lost power. By late Saturday afternoon, the outages had been reduced by a third, as reported by poweroutage.us.

A professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University stated that it was possible to predict this tornado risk in the region up to one week before it happened.

People, like tornado expert Ashley, are warning us about the dangers of building more, especially in areas that are not very rich. She said that if a fast and long-lasting storm comes at night, it could lead to big trouble for everyone living there.

Many people helped put this report together. They were located in Rolling Fork, Mississippi; Silver City, Mississippi; O’Fallon, Missouri; Indianapolis; Mission, Kansas; Bellingham, Washington; Los Angeles; Kensington, Maryland; and Washington D.C.

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