A new video has revealed the moment that a massive tornado tore through an empty high school in Mississippi on Friday night.
Surveillance footage captured the moment that the roof of Amory High School partially collapsed while electrical cables and other debris were sent flying through corridors.
A severe tornado-spawning storm system killed at least 26 people and injured dozens as it tore across Mississippi and Alabama.
In a statement on Saturday morning, the high school’s management said: “We hope you are all safe through this awful disaster.
“Students and parents, please do not come to Amory High School this weekened due to the possibility of multiple gas leaks. We have people on the way to fix the problem.”
As a tornado approached Amory, TV weather forecaster Matt Laubhan was so alarmed by its seriousness that he began to pray live on-air, blurting out: “Dear Jesus, please help them, Amen.”
Residents later told The Independent that his urgency and worried demeanor probably saved lives, making it clear to locals – who have an unfazed attitude to severe weather in their area –how bad the disaster could be.
Amory resident Leah Ann Hubbard said that when she went outside on Saturday morning it looked “like an apocalypse”, with roads covered in debris and trees fallen on houses.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency in all affected counties on Saturday and asked people to pray for the victims and their loved ones. It is the deadliest tornado to strike the state in more than a decade.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency provisionally classified Friday night’s twister as a Category-4, causing “devastating damage”.
The town of Rolling Fork on the Mississippi River Delta was all but destroyed, with houses and businesses flattened and vehicles, trees, and power cables strewn everywhere.
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