President Biden Declares Emergency After Deadly Southern Storms

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch warning for 33 counties in central Georgia until 1 p.m. E.T. on Sunday.

From the New York Times:

Early on Sunday, President Biden declared an emergency for Mississippi, a move that clears the way for federal funding for a range of assistance, including recovery efforts and temporary housing.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said on Saturday that he had submitted the state’s claim for a major disaster declaration to the federal government, saying “the scale of the damage and loss is evident everywhere.” Biden spoke with Reeves, as well as with the Mississippi congressional delegation, saying he offered “full federal support.” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell was scheduled to visit the state on Sunday to evaluate the destruction.

Rescue Efforts Continue:

Rescuers continued on Sunday morning to search for victims of a deadly storm system that ravaged Mississippi and Alabama, as stunned residents tried to come to terms with the scale of the devastation and officials warned that more dangerous storms could be on the way.

  • The National Weather Service office in Jackson said late Saturday that the tornado that hit Rolling Fork had received a preliminary EF-4 rating. Like hurricanes and earthquakes, tornadoes are rated on a scale. The Enhanced Fujita, or EF, scale runs from 0 to 5, and an EF-4 rating is characterized by wind speeds of 166 to 200 mph.
  • While Rolling Fork in west-central Mississippi appeared to have been hardest hit, reports of damage extended across a large swath of the state into northeastern counties. Fred Miller, a former mayor of Rolling Fork, described Friday’s storm as “about as bad as I’ve ever seen.”
  • 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.

In Georgia:

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch warning for 33 counties in central Georgia until 1 p.m. E.T. on Sunday.

Early on Sunday, the sheriff’s office for Troup County, Ga., which includes LaGrange, said it had received reports of downed trees, power lines and damaged homes. The agency also said on Facebook that it had received a report from Pine Mountain Animal Safari, a local safari park, that a tiger was unaccounted for inside the park.

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