The necessary combination of weather elements coalesced across southern states over the weekend to batter residents with deadly tornadoes. The National Weather Service ultimately reported a total of 25 different tornado touchdowns on Easter Sunday. At least 7 deaths results.
One of the many tornadoes ripped through southern Mississippi. It traveled for nearly 100 miles. Gene Norman, a meteorologist with CNN, said it reached wind speeds of nearly 200 mph during its rampage.
The highest warning from the National Weather Service, a tornado emergency, took effect for parts of Covington and Jefferson Davis counties. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, a twister damaged hundreds of structures.
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said 200 to 300 homes took damage during the storm. Luckily, Mayo also reported no fatalities in the 50,000 population city. However, emergency personnel treated minor injuries across the area.
In the wake of the storm, the city of Monroe posted images of the damage onto their Instagram page. They also urged residents to avoid downed power lines and other debris.
Tornadoes and Coronavirus
The bout of severe storms comes amidst another nationwide crisis. The spread of coronavirus throughout the country has people sheltering in place in an effort to practice social distancing and stem the spread. However, the recent destruction makes that difficult for some.
In advance of the anticipated storm, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey eased some social distancing restrictions for extenuating circumstances brought on by the severe weather.
Shelters remained in operation, protecting those displaced by the storms. Though, reports from within shelters reveal social distancing measures still practiced.
“Shelters and community safe rooms should remain open and accessible to all individuals seeking refuge from this severe weather, while implementing reasonable practices and procedures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among those seeking shelter,” said Ivey.
As the storms move eastward, warning take effect across Georgia and the southeast coast. Meteorologists expect the second wave to include tornadoes and possible hail.