Americans were stunned this weekend to see the devastation that a deadly tornado unleashed in Mississippi and Alabama.
According to the Associated Press, 25 people were killed in Mississippi while another man lost his life in neighboring Alabama.
Jarrod Kunze was one of many volunteers who traveled from Alabama to Mississippi in order to provide assistance. He told the Associated Press, "Everything I can see is in some state of destruction."
President Joe Biden put out a statement on Saturday in which he declared a state of emergency and announced that FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell has "deployed emergency response personnel and resources."
Heartbreaking scenes quickly appeared on social media, with drone footage showing that the Mississippi town of Rolling Fork was reduced to ruble.
Drone footage showed the devastation in Rolling Fork, Mississippi on Sunday after a deadly tornado touched down on the town on Friday night. More than two dozen people were killed after the storm hit the state. https://t.co/bpOMRrwalU pic.twitter.com/oVXZOISiZj
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 27, 2023
Madeleine Nolan is a reporter for 16 WAPT News, and she tweeted out a video of a Rolling Fork man who recounted how both of his parents died when a semi truck fell on their home.
One man lost his parents after the Rolling Fork tornado dropped an 18-wheeler onto their home.
“I was told they passed away in each others arms.” 💔 #RollingFork #Mississippitornado @16WAPTNews @NWSJacksonMS pic.twitter.com/vOgvpyiGPk
— Madeleine Nolan (@Madeleine16WAPT) March 25, 2023
"Words can't express what I'm feeling. I'm just broken--I don't know," the man said tearfully. "And knowing that may little boy could have been in if I hadn't picked him up...I'm just trying to stay strong."
"I've got my family here, more family on the way, friends coming," he continued, adding that his mother and father "passed away in each other's arms."
Meanwhile, some used the disaster as an opportunity to score political points. Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson told CNN that a local hospital could have treated the injured in Rolling Fork if only Republican Gov. Tate Reeves had supported Medicaid expansion.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) tells @Acosta that the only hospital in Rolling Fork, MS has been devastated by a tornado and the injured have to be transported 50 miles. Thompson added the governor has turned down Medicaid expansion dollars that could have kept the hospital running. pic.twitter.com/846ccDGSFc
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 25, 2023
"Our only hospital in this community is offline right now, so we're having to transport [the] injured over 50 miles away to the nearest hospital," Thompson told CNN host Jim Acosta.
"So maybe I can get my governor here in Mississippi to accept the Medicaid expansion dollars that could have gotten us the proper emergency generation for our hospital in Rolling Fork so that we wouldn't be offline," the congressman declared.