At Least 24 Dead After Powerful Storms Batter Mississippi

At Least 24 Dead After Powerful Storms Batter Mississippi

At least 24 are dead in Mississippi after a tornado touched down just after sundown Friday in a storm system that delivered twisters, heavy rain, wind gusts and hail as it traveled throughout the South.

The storm system ripped through Mississippi and produced a tornado that touched down and caused catastrophic damage to communities across the state. In Rolling Fork, a rural town about 60 miles northwest from the state capital of Jackson, what were once buildings are now piles of scattered debris. The twister moved northeast, devastating rural communities.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado caused damage about 60 miles northeast of Jackson, Mississippi. Silver City and Rolling Fork were reporting destruction as the tornado continued sweeping northeast at 70 mph without weakening, racing towards Alabama through towns including Winona and Amory into the night.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said in a Twitter post Friday night that search and rescue teams were active and that officials were sending more ambulances and emergency assets to those affected.

"Many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God's protection tonight," the post said. "Watch weather reports and stay cautious through the night, Mississippi!"

Now, officials are pleading for help as residents survey damage left after the storm's wake. Thousands in the region are still without power, according to

"Every trail in this town (is) gone," said Roger Cummings of Silver City, who said that his nephew was killed in the storm.

Forecasters have been warning about an outbreak of severe weather for days, even launching a weather balloon on Thursday. The deadly twisters come on the heels of damaging storms the region experienced on Thursday and Friday.

In Southern Missouri, a car with six teenagers inside was swept away by flood waters. Two of them did not survive.

At least two tornadoes swept through north Texas on Friday, with winds of 100 mph.

Eric Huntley dug through what was left of his home.

"Soon as I got the alert, I went to go look outside and then I heard the moan," he said of the storm. "I'll never forget that sound."