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At least two people have been identified as the victims of a deadly tornado that struck Mississippi on Wednesday night.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) confirmed in a statement that the two were a young father of three and his one-year-old daughter.
The father, identified as 30-year-old William Thornton, and his daughter, Emma, were both killed when the tornado hit the town of Tupelo.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the tornado was an EF-4, meaning it had winds of up to 170 miles per hour. It left a path of destruction a mile wide and nearly 25 miles long.
MEMA Director Greg Michel said, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of William and Emma. This is a tragic loss for their family and our entire state.”
The tornado destroyed dozens of homes and businesses, and left hundreds of people without power.
The NWS said the tornado was the fourth strongest ever recorded in Mississippi. It also said that the tornado season in the region has been especially active this year, with more than 20 tornadoes reported so far this spring.
The state of Mississippi has declared a state of emergency and is providing assistance to those affected.
The families of William and Emma are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.