Several Dead After 25 Tornadoes Touched Down in the South on Sunday
Nearly a dozen people are dead and hundreds of thousands are left without power as multiple tornadoes struck Mississippi and Louisiana on Sunday.
"This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter Sunday," Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement on Twitter. "The state and our first responders are working around the clock and will not rest until this is over. We are mobilizing all resources available to protect our people and their property."
The National Weather Service reported 25 tornadoes across the south on Sunday. Tornado watches remained in effect through Monday morning across Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
An initial report from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed damage in 18 counties throughout the state, 11 fatalities, and more than 200 homes damaged or destroyed. As the tornadoes hit during the coronavirus pandemic, the state is still under a shelter-in-place order and reminding residents to socially distance as much as possible.
Additionally, major power outages spread across the southeastern U.S. As of Monday morning, more than 500,000 customers were left without power from Texas to Virginia, according to Poweroutage.us.
As people sought shelter from the tornado winds, public safety locations were armed with hand sanitizer and groups of people were urged to keep a six-foot distance and wear face masks.
The city of Monroe in Louisiana suffered significant damage, with winds of 115-165 mph. Hundreds of homes in the town were destroyed, along with damage at the Monroe Regional Airport. All flights to and from the airport are canceled until further notice.
The severe storms, that started in Texas on Saturday, moved across the southern part of the country on Sunday. Residents on the southeastern coast are warned to prepare for a possible second wave of storms on Monday.
A tornado watch has also been implemented for the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, central and eastern Pennsylvania, northern Virginia and the eastern West Virginia Panhandle, according to The Weather Channel.
Residual affects of the storm in the south also lead to rain and harsh winds the northeast.