Rescuers searching isolated rural areas for storm victims - - The News for South Mississippi

Rescuers searching isolated rural areas for storm victims

YAZOO CITY, MS (WLOX/AP) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says a devastating tornado that left 10 people dead severely damaged at least 100 homes in one area alone, and there may be more in isolated rural areas that rescuers have not yet reached.

The governor said Sunday that search and rescue missions would continue throughout the day. He said at least 100 homes were damaged in Yazoo County, but said that estimate may be far too low.

Barbour, who is from Yazoo City, said none of his relatives was hurt.

The governor stood in the parking lot of a heavily damaged restaurant amid a scene of snapped trees and houses wiped from foundations. Barbour says the tornado was "enormous."

Meteorologists said it was too soon to tell whether a single long-lasting tornado or multiple shorter ones caused the destruction.

On Saturday, Governor Barbour declared a State of Emergency in more than a dozen Mississippi counties. He also ordered the Mississippi National Guard to aid local officials with emergency response.

The counties affected include: Choctaw, Desoto, Forrest, Holmes, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Marshall, Oktibbeha, Simpson, Tallahatchie, Union, Warren, Webster and Yazoo. The State of Emergency order allows emergency responders to efficiently utilize resources and receive state aid to respond to the emergency situation.

Governor Barbour said he was extremely pleased with the response of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, emergency officials, area hospitals and volunteers.

"In times of emergency, Mississippians know they can count on their neighbors, and this is another example where the character and perseverance of our fellow citizens will be evident," Governor Barbour said.

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