By RHEANA MURRAY
There were several reported tornadoes in the south today, including one in Mississippi that killed at least two people and injured several others and damaged homes, officials said.
It is unclear how they died, Marion County Coroner Norma Williamson said.
And another two deaths were confirmed in Jones County, Sheriff Alex Hodge said, noting the victims’ mobile home was destroyed by the storm.
Five tornadoes were reported in Mississippi, while tornadoes also struck Georgia and Louisiana.
Damage is still being assessed, but the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi, said there are “reports of extensive damage, including structural,” after the tornado struck near Columbia, and a mobile home park was damaged.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a state of emergency this evening for Marion and Jones counties, along with other parts of the state affected by severe weather.
“I have declared a state of emergency to assist local officials with any available state resources that are needed in areas affected by severe weather, specifically in Jones and Marion counties,” Bryant said in a statement. “The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are continuing to monitor the situation in the region.”
Local power companies reported 6,300 customers without power as of 2:45 p.m. in Marion County, according to the governor’s office. In Jones County, 935 customers were without power as of 3:30 p.m.
Earlier, the service tweeted for residents to seek shelter as “debris was falling out of the sky.”
There were also several injuries at a Walmart near there, authorities said.