The latest in a powerful series of deadly storms, the Tupelo tornado, struck on Monday night and killed one person. The tornado is part of a system that the National Weather Service (NWS) is calling a “severe weather outbreak.” NWS said the weather is expected to continue through Monday night in parts of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.
Several additional tornadoes are possible, according to the NWS, as well as severe thunderstorms expected over parts of the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys overnight.
Two days of powerful storms throughout the region have killed at least 21 people. The Tupelo tornado ripped through the town of Tupelo and wreaked havoc on homes and businesses, according to reports by Reuters. It also down power lines, uprooted trees.
The population of Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, is just 35,000. It’s in the northeast part of Mississippi. On Sunday, more than one tornado tossed cars like toys in Arkansas. Day two of the storms was expected to continue through at least Monday night.
The Tupelo tornado touched down at about 2:45 p.m. on Monday on the west side of the town, according to The Weather Channel. The tornado moved from near the Tupelo Airport and made its way to the mall. It then crossed over the US-45 and US-78 intersection.
The tornado blew semi-trucks off the road and continued its path of destruction to the northeast.
It’s not the first time that Tupelo has been hit by a powerful and deadly tornado. In 1936, the so-called Tupelo Tornado ripped through the town and killed 216 people and injured 700. It is ranked as number four among the ten deadliest U.S. tornadoes on record by CNN.
The other storms ranked more deadly than the Tupelo tornado were the Woodward tornado that killed 181 people in 1947 when it swept across parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas in 1947. The Natchez tornado in 1840 killed 317 people along the Mississippi River in Louisiana and Mississippi. The actual death toll might have been higher because slaves might not have been counted.
The deadliest U.S. tornado on record was the 1925 tri-state tornado, which killed 695 people and injured 2,027. That storm had 260-plus MPH winds and was rated as an F5, the most powerful on the old Fujita scale.
The Tupelo tornado is expected to be one of the last major storms in the series.