US: Biden declares emergency for Mississippi’s storm recovery

US President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration for Mississippi after a powerful storm tore across the state, killing at least 25 people there and one in Alabama.

Biden ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the affected areas, a White House Statement said on Sunday. The funding will be available to affected people in the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey, the statement said.
The powerful storm that spawned at least one tornado ripped across the US states of Mississippi and Alabama, tearing off roofs, smashing cars and levelling entire neighbourhoods.
Mississippi’s emergency management agency put the death toll at 25 on Saturday and said dozens more were injured. Four people reported missing “have been found”, it added.

And in Alabama, one man died after being trapped when a trailer overturned in the severe weather, the sheriff’s office in Morgan County said on Twitter.

The tornado stayed on the ground for about an hour and cut a path of destruction some 274km (170 miles) long across Mississippi late on Friday, according to Nicholas Price, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi.

At least 12 of the deaths occurred in hard-hit Rolling Fork, a town of about 1,900 in western Mississippi. The town is 75 percent Black and approximately one-fifth of the population lives below the federal poverty line, according to United States Census data.

Homes in Rolling Fork were reduced to rubble, tree trunks snapped like twigs and cars were tossed aside like toys. The town’s water tower lay twisted on the ground.“As soon as we would go from one vehicle to the next vehicle or from building to building, we could hear screams and we could hear cries for help,” he told the Reuters news agency.

“And we were just basically in small groups, digging through the rubble, trying to find and extricate people.”

Members of one family narrowly escaped by taking shelter in a bathroom; the rest of the house collapsed around them, and the high winds dropped a van on top of the home, Searcy said.

In nearby Silver City, a rural community of about 300, residents described locking themselves in interior rooms and cowering inside bathtubs as the tornado swept through.

Governor Tate Reeves, who visited Silver City on Saturday, declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

Related Articles

Back to top button