State of emergency declared in Mississippi

  • 25/12/2015
(File)
(File)

Ten people have been killed after powerful storms roared across Mississippi.

At least 40 people were injured when 14 tornados made their way through Tennessee and Arkansas.

Emergency services fear the death toll will rise.

The twister caught Lance Meeks by surprise when he stepped outside his door near Holly Springs.

"I laid down on the ground, and here come the tornado," Mr Meeks told CNN affiliate WTVA-TV. "Rolled right over me. Uprooted trees, cut trees in half. And I don't know why I'm still standing here talking to you."

The calendar says it's nearly Christmas, but the damage looks more like spring.

A powerful storm system roared across parts of the South, claiming at least 10 lives in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas and injuring scores more.

The Storm Prediction Center said at least 14 tornadoes hit Mississippi on Wednesday, but a single twister did most of the damage.

It started in northern Mississippi and didn't lift up until western Tennessee. The National Weather Service said it may have been on the ground 241 kilometres.

"If it is continuous it would be the longest track (December) tornado on record here in the mid-South," the Memphis office of the weather service said.

NZN