Mississippi Tornadoes | April 12, 2020
During Easter weekend a total of 134 tornadoes formed throughout the Southeastern states. One of the tornadoes was a 2.25-mile wide EF4 twister with winds of 190 mph that hit Moss, Mississippi killing 8 people and becoming the widest tornado that’s ever hit the state. Five out of the ten states that were affected by the tornadoes were forced to declare a state of emergency with relief efforts being complicated due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A large area of high pressure built up throughout March and April adding to the abnormally warm temperatures across the country. Most of the areas around the Gulf of Mexico experienced record temperatures for March along with calm weather adding to the high-pressure area. A larger risk of tornadoes and severe weather is associated with the abnormally warmer water and air from the Gulf of Mexico.
Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas were all of the states affected by the tornadoes with a total of 38 fatalities. More than 4.3 million people lost power, with damage and losses estimated to exceed over $10 million. President Donald Trump approved federal disaster declarations for three counties in Mississippi making this the first time in history the state has concurrent two federal disaster declarations with the second being the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations were made throughout cities, and hotel rooms in addition to shelters were used for relief operations to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19. Displaced residents were provided food by the Salvation Army, and prisoners had to be relocated to other prisons. Throughout the end of April, almost 4,000 tons of debris had been removed just from one city in Tennessee.
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