On Friday night, an extraordinary, long-track tornado wreaked havoc across western Mississippi, resulting in the deaths of at least 26 people, demolishing structures, and leaving thousands of homes without electricity. The storms also claimed one life in Alabama.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves described the tragedy as "a horrific event" and "absolutely heartbreaking" during a news conference. President Biden expressed similar sentiments, labeling the images from Mississippi "heartbreaking" and pledging the full support of the federal government in the wake of the storm.

Biden mentioned that FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell had already dispatched emergency response teams and resources to Mississippi to aid in recovery efforts. He vowed to "do everything we can to help" those impacted by the storms and the first responders assisting them.

As of Saturday afternoon, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported 25 fatalities and numerous injuries due to the tornadoes. State and local rescue teams were deployed overnight, with resources available to assist those affected by the catastrophic weather events.

Alabama's Morgan County Emergency Management Agency confirmed to NPR that a mobile home had overturned during the tornadoes, resulting in at least one fatality.

Lance Perrilloux, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that a tornado touched down in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, around 8 p.m. local time. Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker told CNN that the city had been completely devastated.

Mayor Walker, who has been assessing the damage in his town, stated that the destruction is extensive. Several residents have been found trapped in their homes, requiring emergency transport to hospitals, while rescue efforts continue to search for additional survivors.

The tornado then continued northeast, affecting neighboring towns such as Silver City and Winona and causing golf ball-sized hail.

Chris Alford, a local resident, described the complete destruction in Black Hawk, a small town about 60 miles northeast of where the tornado made landfall. Houses were demolished, buildings collapsed, and trees were shattered throughout the town.

Alford visited Black Hawk on Saturday to help evaluate the damage and reported that some residents had been found trapped in their cars. Homes and treasured community landmarks, including a Baptist church and community center, lay in ruins.

Governor Reeves declared a state of emergency in the affected areas. FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell is working with Reeves to expedite a federal emergency disaster declaration request.

The National Weather Service warned that severe weather would continue through Saturday evening, with potential showers and thunderstorms into Sunday.

According to Perrilloux of the NWS, the tornado, which spanned approximately 170 miles and persisted for over an hour, is considered "very rare." He explained that the tornado's longevity and intensity make it one of the most extraordinary in recorded Mississippi history.