Hundreds of MS homes damaged

Responders provide aid following deadly storms that hit wide area from Louisiana to the Atlantic Coast


Food and shelter are being provided as survivors pick up the pieces of their lives following the strongest wave of tornadoes to hit the U.S. in two years. The damage in Mississippi was so severe that Gov. Haley Barbour compared it to Hurricane Katrina.

The severe weather outbreak began Friday night, with the most significant damage reported in MS Saturday afternoon where at least 12 people were killed. Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed.

At least 10 people were killed in MS alone, with storm damage reported from Louisiana.

Yazoo City, in Yazoo County, was particularly hard hit and garnered the most national media attention, but 16 other counties also tallied damage. Approximately 60 percent of the congregation of Millsprings Baptist Church in Choctaw County lost their homes. Just one wall of the church was still standing Sunday.

Volunteers from Presbyterian Churches in the region worked into the evening Sunday covering damaged homes with tarps and using chainsaws to clear access to others. United Methodists also reported volunteers had been active in the region.

The Salvation Army deployed mobile feeding units and a communications trailer in Yazoo County and is exploring other locations.

“We are serving hot meals, coffee, cold drinks and spiritual counseling,” Salvation Army Capt. Ken Chapman told the Clarion Ledger in Jackson. “We are equipped to serve thousands," he added.

A state of emergency was ordered by the governor in 17 Mississippi counties. Barbour also ordered the state National Guard to assist local municipalities in emergency response efforts. Barbour has asked President Obmana to declare the region a federal disaster.

Damaging storms were also reported in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

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