According to authorities, several tornadoes blasted through Mississippi overnight, killing one person and injured close to twenty.
State emergency personnel were still collaborating with counties to evaluate the damage caused by storms that included tornadoes, high temperatures, and hail in certain locations. The death and injuries were reported by authorities in Jasper County, in eastern Mississippi.
The destruction was primarily concentrated in the small, rural village of Louin. Wide swaths of debris-covered countryside, demolished dwellings, and broken trees were visible in drone footage and photographs. A stretcher was used to remove at least one person from the debris.
Lester Campbell told The Associated Press that his cousin, 67-year-old George Jean Hayes, was the victim while he was standing in front of his destroyed home on Monday.
Campbell slept off in his recliner on Sunday night. Around midnight the lights went off and he was roused. The tornado struck after he went to the kitchen to get something from the refrigerator.
“It happened so fast,” Campbell said. “It was like a train sound, a ‘roar, roar, roar.’”
Dropping to the ground, he crept to his bedroom’s closet, where his wife was already hiding. The tornado had already passed by the time he got to the closet.
Campbell claimed to have heard cries for assistance coming from Hayes’ mobile house across the street. When he left his house, he saw paramedics loading his cousin into an ambulance while his forehead and leg were covered in blood. When he first saw her, she was awake and speaking, but she passed away before getting to the hospital, he claimed.
According to Becky Collins, a spokeswoman for the hospital, the majority of those hurt in Jasper County—including Hayes—were sent to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel between two and three in the morning. About 20 people were cut and bruised. Most people were in good health on Monday morning.
A jet stream that was unusually powerful for the season passed across the region, according to Eric Carpenter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson. Before moving at least 7 miles (11 kilometers) south to Bay Springs, a tornado developed near Louin.
Mississippi often experiences tornadoes in the early to midspring. Carpenter referred to the timing of the tornadoes, as well as the ongoing thunder, hail, and high temperatures, as “a very unusual situation.”
“This is a whole different game here,” Carpenter said. “What we would typically see in March and April, we’re seeing in June.”
At least 26 people were killed and thousands of homes were damaged as a violent tornado tore across parts of western and northern Mississippi on March 24. Rebuilding can be a difficult effort in some of the Mississippi Delta’s small, impoverished villages.
The tornadoes on Monday also hit Rankin County, which borders the capital city of Jackson, according to Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. Drones were used by emergency personnel to conduct damage assessments and search and rescue operations in some locations that were inaccessible to vehicles owing to downed power lines.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said that more than 49,000 houses in central Mississippi lacked electricity in a news release on Monday morning. After strong winds pounded the state early on Friday, thousands of individuals in Hinds County, the state’s most populated region, were still without power Monday morning.
According to Reeves, the state is opening command centers and shelters for people who have been displaced by the bad weather.
Campbell left his house early on Monday and came back to examine the damage. When he got there, he discovered the garage demolished, the windows broken, and half the roof missing. Compared to his neighbors, he felt fortunate.
“Most of the houses are gone. They are demolished. They’re done,” Campbell said.