NATIONAL NEWS

Mississippi death toll from March tornado climbs to 22

May 4, 2023, 3:39 PM | Updated: 5:44 pm

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A person has died after being hospitalized for injuries suffered during a vicious tornado that tore through Mississippi on March 24, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday.

The agency did not release a name but said the person had lived in Sharkey County, an area hit hard by the tornado that lashed the Delta with 200 mph (320 kph) winds.

“This, unfortunately, brings the death toll in Sharkey County to 14, and statewide is 22 due to the severe weather,” the agency said in a news release. “Our thoughts are with the families who’ve lost loved ones and are still recovering from the storms.”

The tornado devastated the Sharkey County town of Rolling Fork and the town of Silver City in neighboring Humphreys County, reducing entire blocks to piles of rubble and leaving hundreds of people homeless. Sharkey County is one of the country’s poorest regions, with a poverty rate of around 35%. That figure is nearly double Mississippi’s roughly 19% rate and triple the nation’s nearly 12% rate.

Large stretches of Amory, a north Mississippi town, also were damaged.

President Joe Biden toured Rolling Fork after the tornado. He also approved a disaster declaration for Mississippi, freeing up federal funds for temporary housing, home repairs and loans to cover uninsured property losses. The state legislature also approved about $18.5 million for tornado relief.

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Mississippi death toll from March tornado climbs to 22