Mississippians are picking up the pieces after an estimated 14 tornados swept across state damaging homes and causing power outages. MPB's Kobee Vance reports.
Governor Phil Bryant declared Mississippi in a state of emergency following an outbreak of tornados. No deaths were reported in Mississippi, but there have been four deaths reported in surrounding states. Joanne Colin is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Jackson. She says the largest twister was an EF-2 with winds speeds reaching 130 miles per hour.
"There has been some significant structure damage, especially in some of the stronger tornados that occured. There have been injuries. The tornado that went through Columbia resulted in 3 injuries, and the one that occured around Summeral in Lamar County had 7 inuries."
In Guntown, near Tupelo, a tornado went through a subdivision, destroying a church and damaging homes. Mayor Bud Herring says many displaced families are now staying in shelters.
"I could just see the look in people's eyes, you know, especially the ones who might have children that lost christmas presents, but we're setting up a drop off place here. It's gonna be, it's a shock to the people. It's a shock to all of us. But it's something we're gonna work through, and we're gonna take care of our people."
As the clean up from the storms continue, Governor Bryant is urging Mississippians not to go into affected areas.
"We're asking everyone to slow down. Don't travel in the affected areas if you don't have to. Certainly this is not a sight seeing oportunity, so do not go into the affected area where homes are damaged just to look and take photographs. You will be turned around."
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is asking the public to report damage to homes or businesses to county management offices.