US: Severe storms smash Mississippi Delta Region leaving 26 dead

 Monday, March 27, 2023 


There are severe storms rumbled across parts of the South on Sunday, two days after violent tornadoes smashed through the Mississippi Delta region — one of the poorest areas in United States, gutting rural towns and leaving more than two dozen people dead.

The Storm Prediction Center said “strong tornadoes and very large hail” were most likely to hit from central Louisiana across central and southern Mississippi and Alabama through the night. The National Weather Service office in Jackson, Mississippi, retweeted photos of hail that apparently fell in the state Sunday, some of it nearly the size of a baseball.

Search and rescue teams worked Sunday through the rubble left by the weekend tornadoes. At least 25 people died in a twister that stayed on the ground in Mississippi for more than an hour Friday night. Houses were torn from foundations, trees were stripped of branches, cars were flipped like toys, and entire blocks were wiped out.

Rolling Fork in Sharkey County, about 60 miles northwest of Jackson, was devastated so quickly by the tornado that Mayor Eldridge Walker said the sheriff’s department barely had time alert the community of under 2,000 residents.

“And by the time they initiated the siren, the storm had hit and it tore down the siren,” Walker said.

Royce Steed, the emergency manager in Humphreys County, compared the destruction in Silver City to the impact of the deadly 2011 Tuscaloosa–Birmingham tornado and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“It is almost complete devastation,” Steed said. “This little old town, I don’t know what the population is, it is more or less wiped off the map.” One man died in Morgan County, Alabama, the sheriff’s department there said.

The supercell that spawned the deadly Mississippi twister that moved across 170 miles also appeared to produce tornadoes that caused damage in northwest and north-central Alabama, said Brian Squitieri, a severe storms forecaster with Storm Prediction Center. Dozens of people were injured, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported. Hundreds have been displaced.

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