Meteorologist Sees Tornado Track on Air, Offers a Prayer

Matt Laubhan of WTVA in Mississippi has an emotional moment while watching storm
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2023 9:00 AM CDT

A meteorologist in Mississippi was on the air Friday night tracking a massive tornado about to touch down when he got a live update on the storm's path. "Oh man," said Matt Laubhan of WTVA, per Fox News. "North side of Amory this is coming in." Then he repeated, "Oh man" and bent over. "Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen," he said upon straightening back up and resuming the storm watch. Watch the clip here. More coverage in the aftermath of the deadly storm:

  • Toll: As of Sunday morning, the death toll in Mississippi was 25, with dozens more injured, reports the AP. Another man was killed in Alabama when his trailer home flipped. The toll is expected to rise as rescuers dig through the wreckage.

  • Disaster declaration: President Biden declared a major disaster in Mississippi and ordered federal aid to the state, reports NBC News. Pope Francis even offered a special prayer for residents of the state. FEMA chief Deanne Criswell planned to visit Sunday. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service warned of the possibility of more "strong tornadoes" in the central gulf states on Sunday.
  • Where: The Mississippi counties of Humphreys and Sharkey were hit the hardest, especially the towns of Rolling Fork and Silver City, per the Washington Post. In Rolling Fork, with a population of 2,000, the scene is "utter destruction," according to the newspaper. "Homes and businesses have been reduced to rubble. Mangled cars lay flipped. Massive trees were uprooted and tossed."
  • The fury: Preliminary data from the NWS out of Jackson, Mississippi, ranks the storm as an EF-4, which means top winds of 166mph to 200mph.
(More Mississippi stories.)

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