Video shows how a catastrophic tornado nearly wiped out the town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, leaving 23 dead across 3 states: ‘The loss will be felt in these towns forever’
- At least 23 people are dead after a tornado ripped through central Mississippi on Friday night.
- Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said that search crews are still "active" throughout the state.
At least 23 people died after a tornado ripped through central Mississippi late Friday and early Saturday, destroying homes and leaving at least one town in ruins.
Officials said dozens more were injured and at least four people are still missing after what multiple tornadoes tore through the region in the dead of night, according to the Mississippi Department of Emergency Management. The agency said that the numbers are expected to rise.
—msema (@MSEMA) March 25, 2023
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said in a tweet Saturday morning that search and rescue teams are still active, searching for victims.
"The loss will be felt in these towns forever," Reeves wrote. "Please pray for God's hand to be over all who lost family and friends."
—Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 25, 2023
Reeves issued a state of emergency on Saturday and said in another Twitter post that he had contacted President Joe Biden, who said that Federal Emergency Management Agency would help the state recover.
"He assured us FEMA would be there to support our response," Reeves wrote. "The flood of support from governors, businesses, charities, and federal admin has been tremendous—matches the community here on the ground."
According to CNN, residents of Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi lost power as the storm ripped across all three states.
The small town of Rolling Fork in Mississippi saw the worst of the storm in Mississippi. Rolling Fork has a population of 1,776 people, according to the 2020 US Census.
—Jordan Hall (@JordanHallWX) March 25, 2023
Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the former chair of the House January 6 Committee, said he visited Rolling Fork and Silver City — another rural community hit by the tornado — and supports a federal disaster declaration for the tornado damage.
"I spoke with President Biden and FEMA Administrator, Deanne Criswell, and they have assured me that as soon as the request for the major disaster declaration for the State of Mississippi arrives, they will expedite the approval," Thompson said on Twitter.
Thompson called first responders who raced to the scene "heroic."
Rolling Fork's mayor, Eldridge Walker, told WJTV that his home was damaged by the tornado and that rescue crews were still working to pull people from the rubble on Saturday morning.
"What we found was devastation all around us," Walker said, according to the outlet. Walker did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Saturday.
Brandy Showah, who lives in Rolling Fork, told CNN that she had "never seen anything like" the storm that destroyed the town.
"I've never seen anything like this," Brandy Showah told the outlet. "This was a very great small town, and now it's gone."
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