A major weather event on Friday evening and Saturday morning resulted in the formation of at least one deadly tornado in Mississippi, leaving a path of destruction across the southern state. According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, a minimum of 23 fatalities have been confirmed, with dozens injured and four people still missing.
The agency stated on Twitter: "We can confirm 23 dead, dozens injured, four missing due to last night's tornadoes... A number of assets are on the ground to assist those that have been impacted." The casualty figures are expected to increase as rescue operations continue.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves informed the public that search and rescue teams were working diligently, and additional emergency resources were being dispatched to the affected areas. Amid the chaos, one woman was reported missing due to flash flooding after a small river swept a car off the road.
Amory Mayor Cory Glenn, speaking to "Fox & Friends Weekend," acknowledged the extent of the devastation but expressed confidence in his community's resilience, saying, "A devastating storm, but we're resilient people and we'll overcome."
The tornado emergency, the most severe of all tornado-related warnings, was issued for several towns as the storms continued to develop. The northeastern town of Amory, close to the Alabama border, was one of the hardest hit, with emergency services pleading with residents to stay away from damaged areas.
Holly Barnes, a local resident, shared photos on Facebook of the destruction in Amory, commenting, "Amory got hit, but we got out. Trying to get home if we still have one."
The tornado first emerged in the town of Rolling Fork and traveled 30 miles northeast to Silver City, causing severe damage in both locations. Former Rolling Fork Mayor Fred Miller told FOX Weather that much of the town had been destroyed, saying, "Highway 61, where most of our businesses are, all of the businesses on 61 have been completely destroyed."
PowerOutage.us reported that as of 7:30 a.m. ET, nearly 15,752 customers in Mississippi were without power, along with 21,191 in Alabama and over 63,550 in Tennessee.