Severe storms hit the Great South on Sunday, killing more than two dozen people, including at least 11 people in southern Mississippi, and damaging up to 300 homes and other buildings in northern Louisiana.
Storms continued to hit south overnight, with much of the region under flash floods, tornadoes and thunderstorm and wake alerts on Monday morning. At least 72,000 are without electricity.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency director Greg Michel said one person was in Walthall County, two in Lawrence County and three in Jefferson Davis County. The three counties are more than an hour’s drive south of Jackson, near the Louisiana state line.
The two people killed in Lawrence County were a married couple – the assistant to the Lawrence County Sheriff, Robert Ainsworth, and the Walthall County Court of Justice Deputy Clerk Paula We – said a Facebook post from the county sheriff’s office.
“Robert was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a long-time employee here,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
” Robert left this world a hero because he protected Mrs. Paula during the tornado. He was a very valuable employee and will be greatly missed. ”
The sheriff’s office asked residents to remember the family in their prayers after the tragedy.
Soso, Mississippi, was also affected, forcing some to seek refuge in public buildings.
Candice Pitts fell in a hallway at the local volunteer fire station.
“All I had was my arms to put my son and my mother-in-law,” Candice Pitts told CNN. “Was near a solid glass door that exploded and the roof in many places tore or collapsed. My car was parked[ed] under a shed which is now overturned in a nearby courtyard. He is mutilated. ”
In a video shared on Twitter, a crying woman is heard, describing the damage as the video passes through the debris.
“It erased everything around me,” said the woman.
While the Mississippi and Louisiana sustained the majority of the damage, the effects of the storm system were felt in the southern United States.
Local media in Georgia showed a house that had been moved to the center of a road by force of the storm.
– WSB-TV (@wsbtv) April 13, 2020
Authorities were still monitoring the total damage Monday morning, highlighting the devastating circumstances faced by those who weathered the storms.
A 34-year-old man was killed by the fall of a tree while sleeping in his bed, according to a reporter based in Atlanta, the state capital.
Here’s another picture of the tree that fell on the Cartersville home, killing a 34-year-old man sleeping in his bed early this morning. Details at noon on Channel 2 Action News. pic.twitter.com/435K12jwOZ
– Lauren Davis (@LaurenDavisWSB) April 13, 2020
Photos from Alabama showing widespread damage in rural areas have started to appear on social media. Carbon Hill, a town of about 2,000 people, has woken up from widespread damage which they claim reflects a deadly tornado in 2002.
Daylight showing the extent of the damage at Carbon Hill, AL. Residents say the damage trajectory reflects a deadly tornado that struck here in 2002. @ abc3340 @spann @TaylorSarallo @megtomwx #alwx pic.twitter.com/hMZzzAjiYI
– Stephen Quinn (@ StephenQ3340) April 13, 2020
Returning to Mississippi, authorities are working to provide assistance in the face of challenges posed by the need for social distancing as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Sunday night after declaring that several tornadoes had struck the state.
“This is not how someone wants to celebrate Easter,” said Reeves on Twitter. “As we reflect on death and resurrection on this Easter Sunday, we have faith that we will all stand up together. “