At least 26 people were killed and dozens injured after powerful storms and at least one tornado pummeled the Southeast on Friday night, ripping roofs off homes, nearly leveling some neighborhoods and knocking out power for thousands, officials said.
President Joe Biden spoke with officials after the deadly tornadoes and said he is “praying for those who have lost loved ones in the devastating tornadoes in Mississippi and for those whose loved ones are missing.”
Biden also pledged to “focus our federal support where it is needed most quickly,” in the statement.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has issued a State of Emergency in all counties affected by the severe storms, according to a release.
“I’m devastated by the destruction and loss of life that these storms have caused,” Reeves said. He promised the state of Mississippi would do everything to send resources to those in need and help them rebuild.
And Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a tweet his department will “provide support to the impacted communities” in Mississippi through FEMA.
Mayorkas will tour the deadly storm damage in northeast Mississippi Sunday, US Sen. Roger Wicker said during a Saturday news conference.
“We look forward to having the Secretary of Homeland Security and the director of FEMA in to the state tomorrow,” Wicker said. “We’re going to show them as much as we have time to see.”
Mayorkas has also spoken to Reeves, Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Rep. Bennie Thompson about the storm response.
“The loss will be felt in these towns forever. Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends,” Reeves tweeted.
Wicker joined Reeves in a damage tour in the town of Amory, where local police said damage at the city’s water plant is prompting a boil water advisory.