At Least 23 Dead After Tornado Rips Through Mississippi
Screen Shot: Twitter/WAPT 16 News

Nearly two dozen people are confirmed dead in Mississippi after a tornado hit the western part of the state Friday night. 

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency revealed early Saturday morning that 23 people have been confirmed dead and four are missing. The tornado, which was around a mile wide and traveled for over 100 miles, devastated the small towns of Rolling Fork, Anguilla, and Silver Creek.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Rolling Fork resident Brandy Showah told CNN. “This was a very great small town, and now it’s gone.”

The tornado was moving at 50 mph when it hit Rolling Fork shortly after 8:00 p.m. local time Friday night, according to the National Weather Service. The devastating storm ripped off roofs, leveled homes, and knocked out power for thousands of Mississippians. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves warned his state’s residents, gave an update on what actions the state is taking, and asked for prayer in a tweet just after 10:00 p.m. Friday.

“Many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God’s protection tonight,” Reeves said. “We have activated medical support — surging more ambulances and other emergency assets for those affected. Search and rescue is active. Watch weather reports and stay cautious through the night, Mississippi!”

Immediately after the storm devastated Rolling Fork, the town’s residents jumped to help each other.

“Everybody is helping everybody,” one resident told WAPT News. “Not just in this part of town, it’s everywhere.” Another Rolling Fork resident told the local news channel he will be out to help with clean up for “as long as it takes.”

Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker joined CNN Saturday morning, telling the outlet that rescue efforts were still taking place and revealing that he sees “devastation” everywhere he looks.


“A lot of families here are affected. A lot of families are hurting,” Walker said. “This community is in a situation that we never expected, but right now, what’s important to me is that these folks are taken care of.”

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