Tornadoes rampage through Mississippi

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Residents in Mississippi awoke to scenes of destruction after two tornadoes touched down before sunrise near the town of Magee and in a rural area of Lauderdale County, around 90 miles east of Jackson.

Dozens of homes and a church were demolished, and at least 20 people injured near Magee. Mayor Jimmy Clyde in an interview on NBC's Today show commented that the town was in "dire straits."

The town is currently without power, and most roads heading into and out of town have been made impassable by debris. No deaths have been reported so far.

Eleven homes and businesses were damaged by the tornado in Lauderdale County, near the Alabama border. In Magee, the only thing left standing at the 100-year-old Corinth Baptist church are its doors. "Our church is still here, because our church is the people, but the building is gone," said a parishioner.

Two people had to be airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Mississippi Department of Transportation workers are laboring to restore power and other utilities to the affected areas.

Due to the time of a day, many people were caught off guard and were forced to scramble to safety. One resident tearfully summarized the night's events: "I lost everything."