US President Joe Biden Declares Emergency For Mississippi Due To Tornado Damage

Tornado in Mississippi Photo: Barbara Gauntt/The Clarion-Ledger via AP

At least 25 people were killed and dozens of others were injured in Mississippi as the massive storm ripped through several towns on its hour-long path

President Joe Biden early on Sunday issued an emergency declaration for Mississippi, making federal funding available to Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe and Sharkey counties, the areas hardest hit Friday night by a deadly tornado that ripped through the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest regions of the US.

At least 25 people were killed and dozens of others were injured in Mississippi as the massive storm ripped through several towns on its hour-long path. One man was killed after his trailer home flipped several times in Alabama. Search and recovery crews on Sunday resumed the daunting task of digging through the debris of flattened and battered homes, commercial buildings and municipal offices after hundreds of people were displaced.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell was scheduled to visit the state on Sunday to evaluate the destruction. FEMA Coordinating Officer John Boyle has been appointed to oversee federal recovery operations.

Following Biden’s declaration, federal funding can be used for recovery efforts including temporary housing, home repairs, loans covering uninsured property losses and other individual and business programs, the White House said in a statement. The twister flattened entire blocks, obliterated houses, ripped a steeple off a church and toppled a municipal water tower.

Even with recovery just starting, the National Weather Service warned of a risk of more severe weather Sunday — including high winds, large hail and possible tornadoes — in eastern Louisiana, south central Mississippi and south central Alabama. Based on early data, the tornado received a preliminary EF-4 rating, the National Weather Service office in Jackson said late Saturday in a tweet. An EF-4 tornado has top wind gusts between 166 mph and 200 mph (265 kph and 320 kph), according to the service. The Jackson office cautioned it was still gathering information on the tornado.

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