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Rescuers sift through debris of pulverized town of Rolling Fork as they search for survivors after 24 tornadoes batters Mississippi and left at least 23 dead

  • Clean-up operation begins in Rolling Fork after town bears the brunt of tornadoes that pulverized Mississippi 
  • 23 people have been confirmed dead in Mississippi and one more in Alabama  
  • It came as authorities revealed that a husband and wife were found dead in their home after winds sent a neighbor’s 18-wheel truck slamming into their home 

A clean-up operation has begun in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after the rural town bore the brunt of a trail of powerful tornadoes that ripped through the southern state. 

Some 23 people have been confirmed dead in Mississippi and one in Alabama after 24 tornadoes hit the region at 80 miles per hour.

Survivors of the devastating disaster said they were ‘hoping and praying’ as they stayed up all night to help clear the debris.

It came as authorities revealed that a husband and wife were found dead in their home after winds sent a neighbor’s 18-wheel truck slamming into their home. 

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Rural southern towns of Rolling Fork and Silver City bore the brunt of the damage from a tornado that hit the area just after 8pm on Friday. 

A rescuer is seen wading through the debris in Rolling Fork, Mississippi after the rural town was battered by tornadoes which left 23 dead

A rescuer is seen wading through the debris in Rolling Fork, Mississippi after the rural town was battered by tornadoes which left 23 dead

Search and rescue teams have now been deployed to Rolling Fork, along with ambulances

Search and rescue teams have now been deployed to Rolling Fork, along with ambulances

The severe weather event produced hail the size of golf balls as it swept through several southern states

The severe weather event produced hail the size of golf balls as it swept through several southern states 

Search and rescue teams have now been deployed to Rolling Fork, along with ambulances. 

Emergency shelters are also open and crews have come from all over to help, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said. 

He wrote on Twitter: ‘Just completed command briefing with our disaster response team. Devastating damage—as everyone knows. 

‘This is a tragedy. I am on my way to Sharkey County to be with the people first hit. 

‘We are blessed with brave, capable responders and loving neighbors. Please continue to pray.’

Good Samaritans were pictured in High-Viz jackets wading through the debris on Saturday morning.

Rolling Fork resident Shanta Howard said the community had pulled together to help with the operation. 

‘Everybody is helping everybody, not just this part of town – it’s everywhere,’ she told WAPT 16. 

‘Everybody is helping and praying for everybody.’

She also described the horror of the attack which left her fearing for her life.

‘As you can see, nobody has a home here,’ she said.

Local residents said the community had pulled together to get the clean-up operation underway

Local residents said the community had pulled together to get the clean-up operation underway

Rolling Fork resident Shanta Howard described her devastation at having to pull dead bodies out of homes

Rolling Fork resident Shanta Howard described her devastation at having to pull dead bodies out of homes

‘We had to help dead bodies out of the house. That is very disturbing – actually seeing people losing their lives over bad weather like this. 

‘What was going through my head? ‘Lord I don’t want to die. I don’t want me or the kids to die.’

Fellow resident Edgar O’Neil said: ‘Complete and utter devastation. Just houses, roofs ripped off of houses, walls took down from houses. 

‘I’ve seen several areas where parts of the concrete, the asphalt had been jacked up from the ground. I mean, complete devastation.’

Sharkey County Coroner Angelia Eason confirmed at least 13 people had been killed in Rolling Fork.

She added six bodies were recovered from a mobile home park.

Eason said a husband and wife were killed by their neighbor’s 18-wheel truck that slammed into their home. 

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