An emergency declaration was issued over the weekend for the State of Mississippi by US president Joe Biden after a severe convective storm killed at least 25 people there and one in Alabama.
Biden has ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the affected areas, a White House Statement said. The funding will be available to affected people in the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey, the statement said.
Based on early data, the tornado received a preliminary EF-4 rating, the US National Weather Service said, with top wind gusts between 166 mph and 200 mph, according to the service.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves issued a State of Emergency and vowed to help rebuild as he headed to view the damage in an area speckled with wide expanses of cotton, corn and soybean fields and catfish farming ponds
Preliminary information based on estimates from storm reports and radar data indicate that the tornado was on the ground for more than an hour and traversed at least 170 miles, said Lance Perrilloux, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Jackson, Mississippi, office.
He added that preliminary findings are that the tornado began its path of destruction just southwest of Rolling Fork before continuing northeast toward the rural communities of Midnight and Silver City, then moving toward Tchula, Black Hawk and Winona.