Mar 27, 2023
A series of violent storms swept across the Southeast over the weekend. They created tornadoes and killed at least 26 people in Mississippi and Alabama. Other states were impacted too.
President Biden on Sunday declared a federal emergency in Mississippi. That released funding for four of the state’s hardest hit counties: Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey. The mayor of Rolling Fork, Sharkey’s county seat, told CNN his town of 2,000 residents was destroyed. “My city is gone,” he said.
“My advice to people, one, to be thankful that they’re alive,” the mayor told CNN. “Houses that are torn up can be replaced, but we can’t replace a life.”
That tornado carved a 170-mile swath across Mississippi. It lingered on the ground for more than an hour and killed at least 25 people. Scientists say it's rare for a tornado to last that long. The supercell that created it spun off other twisters in Alabama. A tornado killed a man in that state.
Rescuers spent Sunday searching through debris. They were looking for survivors in areas that were destroyed. The storms uprooted trees, ripped houses from their foundations, and smashed parked cars.
News of the storms’ devastation attracted the attention of Pope Francis. The Pope mentioned those “hit by a devastating tornado” during his regular noon blessing at the Vatican. Many in the path of the storms had prayed hard too.
“Lord, it’s just me at the house,” Katherine Ray of Silver City, Mississippi, recalled for Reuters. “Just take care of me.”
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