US President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Mississippi after tornadoes tore through the area killing at least 26 people.
The declaration will provide federal funding for Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe and Sharkey counties, the hardest-hit counties deadly storm on Friday.
rescue team the daunting task of continuing Or sifting through the rubble of flattened buildings, leaving dozens injured and hundreds displaced.
The massive storm left a devastating trail in one of the poorest parts of the United States as it tore through several towns on its hour-long path.
The winds flattened entire streets, destroyed homes, knocked down church steeples and toppled a municipal water tower.
A man died when his trailer flipped over multiple times in Alabama.
Even as recovery begins, the risk of further severe weather remains, including strong winds, large hail, and the possibility of more tornadoes in eastern Louisiana, south-central Mississippi and south-central Alabama.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado reached wind gusts of 166 mph to 200 mph.
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people calling for help in the dark
“I don’t know how anyone survived,” said Rodney Porter, who lives 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Rolling Fork.
When the storm hit on Friday night, he immediately drove there to do what he could to help.
He arrived to find “total devastation” and said he smelled gas and heard people screaming for help in the dark.
“The house was gone, the house was stacked on top of the house and there were vehicles on it,” he said.
Annette Body drove from nearby Belozi to the hardest-hit town, Silver City, to investigate the damage.
She said she was “happy” because her own home wasn’t destroyed, but others she knew lost everything.
“Crying last night, crying this morning,” she said, looking around at the flattened houses.
“They said you needed to hide, but it happened so quickly that a lot of people didn’t even have a chance to hide.”
Many were dazed and shocked as storm survivors moved around Saturday, chainsawing through dense debris and fallen trees in search of those trapped.