June 4, 2023

At least 23 people were killed, dozens of others injured and four remained missing after powerful tornadoes ripped through the Mississippi Delta on Friday night, leaving a trail of destruction in its path, officials said.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, which released the chilling figures, warned Saturday that more casualties could be coming as it coordinates with multiple local and state search and rescue teams combing through rubble across the state.

Thirteen victims were confirmed dead in Sharkey County after the town of Rolling Fork about 60 miles north of Jackson  appeared to take the worst hit, coroner Angelia Easton confirmed to CNN.

What we found was devastation all around us, Mayor Eldridge Walker said.

At least one person was killed in Silver City in neighboring Humphreys County, the local sheriffs officetold WJTV. Law-enforcement officers climb through debris on a diner looking for survivors early Saturday.AP

And in Yazoo County, two children were taken to Baptist Yazoo hospital in critical condition after becoming trapped in a home.

In the town of Amory, WTVA meteorologist Matt Laubhan got so emotional while tracking the tornado that he turned to prayer on the air.

We got a new scan here as we speak, he said. Oh, man! Like north side of Amory, this is coming in.

A tornado has touched down in Silver City, MS, in Humphreys County. Highway 49W is congested at this time with emergency crews. Please use an alternate route if possible. pic.twitter.com/npfYxnMGSN— MHP Greenwood (@MHPTroopD) March 25, 2023

He then put his head down while exhaling as said, Oh, man! Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.”

The deadliest tornado touched down around 9 p.m. before sweeping northeast at 70 mph without weakening as it crossed into Alabama.

Walker, Rolling Forks mayor, said there were numerous injuries reported around the town and responders were working to get those people to hospitals, although the number of people injured remained unclear. 

This is our first look at Rolling Fork, MS after a confirmed large tornado tore through the town.

? Watch FOX Weather live: https://t.co/B2dBlpLqhR pic.twitter.com/vDvnqsEe7M— FOX Weather (@foxweather) March 25, 2023

The Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital on the west side of Rolling Fork was damaged, WAPT reported.

The Sharkey County Sheriffs Office in Rolling Fork confirmed reports of gas leaks and people trapped in piles of rubble, according to The Vicksburg News.

Some law enforcement units were also unaccounted for in the county, according to the newspaper. Powerful tornadoes and storms tore through the Deep South on Friday night.FOX Weather

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in the area. In addition to destructive winds, the deadly storm produced golf ball-sized hail.

You are in a life-threatening situation, the weather service warned when the storm was closing in. Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible.

Cornel Knight told The Associated Press he was at a relatives house in Rolling Fork as he watched the eerily quiet tornado approach the home from about a half mile away. Death tolls of up to 21 people were reported after a powerful tornado tore through Mississippi late Friday.Jonathan Blake Sachar via Storyful

He told everyone in the house to take cover in a hallway.

He said the tornado struck another relatives home across a wide corn field from where he was, causing a wall to collapse trapping several people inside.

Rolling Fork is surrounded by an expanse of cotton, corn and soybean fields and catfish farming ponds.

More than a half-dozen shelters were opened in the state by emergency officials. Multiple shelters were opened to help the stranded overnight.Jonathan Blake Sachar via Storyful

Storm chaser Reed Timmer tweeted that the town was in immediate need of emergency personnel and that he was heading with injured residents of the town to a Vicksburg hospital.

Over 80,000 customers were without power in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee as of Saturday morning, according to poweroutage.us.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said on social media that the state was sending additional emergency crews to the area. First responders after a tornado touched down in Silver City.Facebook/Mississippi Highway Patrol

At least twenty three Mississippians were killed by last nights violent tornadoes,” the governor tweeted early Saturday. “We know that many more are injured. Search and rescue teams are still active.

“The loss will be felt in these towns forever. Please pray for Gods hand to be over all who lost family and friends.”

Earlier Friday, two passengers were killed when a car was swept away and two in southwestern Missouri during torrential rains that were part of a severe weather system. Local highways were subsequently congested with emergency crews.Facebook/Mississippi Highway Patrol

Four of the six people who were in the car at the time made it out of the water. 

In another southwestern Missouri county, the search continued for a woman who was missing after flash flooding from a small river washed her car off the road.

Two others who were in the car were rescued.

With Post wires

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