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A US weatherman tracking the course of a deadly tornado broke down and prayed to Jesus to save people in the storm’s path.
Two people died in Monroe County, Mississippi, and many more fatalities were reported across the state as the tornado swept through residential areas at 70mph, leaving a trail of destruction behind.
Matt Laubhan, a weatherman at local news channel WTVA, was providing live coverage of the tornado when he realised it was going to smash into the small town of Amory, the northeastern part of the state near the Alabama border.
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“This is a bad one,” he said, “a worst-case scenario,” as on-screen graphics tracked the tornado “supercell” across the state.
Matt repeatedly urged anyone in the path of the massive vortex to take shelter just as new data came in showing the storm’s projected path.
Admitting that the powerful weather system was unpredictable he said: “Here's the thing about this, y'all trust me too much…
“I tell you where it's going to go and some of you guys are like ‘that's where it's gonna go’ – The reality of this, this could be changing direction. So, Amory, we need to be in our safe place”.
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Then looking at the new information Matt seemed unable to continue for a few moments. He slumped forward on to his desk, buried his head in his hands and quietly said to himself: “Oh man.”
“Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen,” he said, before gathering himself and continuing with the broadcast.
Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley confirmed that the tornado had caused two fatalities in the nearby town of Wren, and curfews are in place across the region as first responders struggle to deal with the massive destruction.
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Dozens of buildings in Amory, a town of some 7,000 people, were smashed beyond recognition and Eldridge Walker, mayor of nearby Rolling Fork, said his town was simply “gone”.
Mississippi state governor Tate Reeves said “The loss will be felt in these towns forever,”
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said in a Twitter post that search and rescue teams from local and state agencies had been deployed to help victims the disaster.
The agency confirmed on Saturday that 23 people had died across Mississippi, with four more people currently unaccounted for.
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- Weather Forecast
- United States
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