At least one person was killed and 19 others injured when a tornado hit central Mississippi overnight and destroyed up to 30 buildings, officials said.
A tornado touched down in the town of Lewin, about 70 miles east of Jackson, around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, said Eric Carpenter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.
Mr. Carpenter said multiple tornadoes could have hit the area overnight, but survey crews were still assessing the damage Monday morning.
On Monday afternoon, the weather service issued a tornado warning for Jackson County in southeast Mississippi near the Alabama border.
George Gene Hayes, 67, who was taken from Jasper County to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel, was killed in the tornado, Jones County Coroner Don Sumrall said. Mrs. Hayes was pronounced dead at 2:18 a.m. Monday.
The tornado damaged between 20 and 30 structures, according to Sheriff Randy Johnson in Jasper County, which includes Lewin.
“We have completely destroyed some mobile homes. There are roofs outside the homes,” said Mr. Johnson said, “You know, what do you expect from a strong hurricane?”
Most of the injured are in stable condition or have been released from the emergency room at the Medical Center in Laurel, hospital spokeswoman Peggy Collins said, adding that victims may return to the hospital in the morning.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said Twitter Emergency crews were conducting search and rescue operations in the area and were using drones in “areas impassable by vehicles due to downed power lines,” he said.
As of Monday morning, nearly 350,000 customers were without power across the South, including more than 35,000 in Mississippi. According to the resistance.usIt aggregates data from applications.
More than 29 million people, mostly in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, were under extreme heat warnings.
In the damaged areas, residents – many of whom were without electricity – also had to endure extreme heat, Mr. The heat index was near 105 degrees, Carpenter said, and was even higher elsewhere.
Although people in Mississippi are used to high summer temperatures, the heat index is usually somewhere in the 90s this time of year, Mr. Carpenter said.
“It was very hot,” he said, and with people outside trying to clean up without electricity, “the heat is definitely a concern.”
Temperatures are expected to return to normal in a couple of days. For now, some severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect, as well as river flood warnings due to heavy rainfall.
“Normal summer weather is hot anyway, and now we’re dealing with extra heat,” Mr. Carpenter said.
Video and pictures of the damage in Leuven showed fields destroyed, houses flattened and debris strewn along roads. A video is going viral on social media It showed emergency workers rescuing people from damaged homes in the middle of the night.
“It’s a very interesting weather pattern, especially in June,” Mr. Carpenter said. “In this situation, the jet stream is unusually strong in the area and it creates a springlike atmosphere.”
Mr. Carpenter said the fronts hitting the central part of the state were consistent and brought a barrage of chaotic weather, including flash flooding.
Sunday night’s tornadoes killed five people in three states and came less than a week after severe storms lashed parts of the South.
“We’re reaching the end of this crazy system,” Mr. Carpenter said. “What we got last night was, we believe, the last significant event we’ll have to contend with.”
Claire Moses and Orlando Mayorquin contributed reporting.