YAZOO CITY, Miss. — Tornadoes ripped through the Southeast on Saturday, killing 10 people in Mississippi and injuring more than a dozen others.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said five people were killed in Choctaw County, including two children. Four victims were in Yazoo County and one was in Holmes County.

Gov. Haley Barbour said there was “utter obliteration” in parts of Yazoo County. More than 15 other counties were also damaged.

“The effects of these storms have left many Mississippians with destroyed businesses and without homes,” Barbour said.

The swath of debris forced rescuers to pick up some of the injured on all-terrain vehicles after a ¾-mile wide tornado touched down in at least three counties.

Tornadoes were also reported in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, and the severe weather continued to track eastward.

In Yazoo City about 40 miles north of Jackson, stunned residents stood on a hill overlooking the destruction.

“Sad, man,” said 22-year-old Rafael Scott, shaking his head. “It’s really hard to believe it. I heard they found a couple of bodies.”

Three broken crosses stood near a flattened church, and religious materials were scattered among twisted steel, broken wood and furniture. A nearby funeral home was reduced to rubble.

Josh Nicholson, 26, was driving home through the storm with his wife, 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter when a power line fell across the road in front of their sport utility vehicle. “There was nowhere we could go,” he said.

Nicholson and his wife took the children out of their car seats and they all huddled in the back of the vehicle. Suddenly, he said, the vehicle spun around and a tree clipped part of the truck where the 3-year-old had been sitting. Luckily, nobody was hurt. “It was scary,” he said.

Downed power lines and trees blocked roads, and at least four people had been brought by four-wheeler to a triage center at an old discount store parking lot, Yazoo City Mayor McArthur Straughter said.

Jim Pollard, a spokesman for American Medical Response ambulance service, said two patients from Yazoo County were airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

More than a dozen people were treated for cuts, bruises and broken bones in Yazoo City, said Laura Henderson, who works at the hospital there.


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