OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 7:57 AM – Saturday, March 25, 2023
Extreme weather conditions in southern states led to at least one deadly tornado that tore through parts of Mississippi on Friday night, leaving at least 23 people dead, and dozens injured across the state.
Tornadoes tore through Mississippi and Alabama late through the night, with Mississippi receiving most of the damage. As of Saturday morning, in Mississippi, 23 people were confirmed to have died, dozens injured, four people missing, along with wrecked buildings and thousands of homes without power.
On Saturday morning, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed the death toll. The Agency also said that the death toll is expected to rise.
“We can confirm 23 dead, dozens injured, four missing due to last night’s tornadoes,” they said. “We have numerous local and state search and rescue teams that continue to work this morning. A number of assets are on the ground to assist those that have been impacted.”
Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) took to Twitter to also confirm the reports and said that Search and Rescue teams are active in the area, along with medical support and emergency assets.
According to the National Weather Service, Rolling Fork and Silver City, two small towns about an hour from Jackson city, saw most of the devastation. In Sharkey County, where Rolling Fork is located, 13 people are confirmed to have died.
Rolling Fork Mayor, Eldridge Walker, told WJTV that dozens of homes in his town were destroyed, including his own, after the tornado tore through the town at almost 70 miles per hour. The mayor emphasized that the main priority was to rescue those who were injured. He urged citizens to stay in place, and wait for first responders to arrive.
According to PowerOutage.us, as of early Saturday morning, over 15,000 customers in Mississippi, around 21,000 in Alabama, and over 63,000 in Tennessee were without power.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Storm Prediction Center issued a warning for the weekend. It warned that “severe thunderstorms” were possible in east Texas and Louisiana, along with Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. They also stated that “large hail, damaging gusts and a couple tornadoes appear possible.”
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