She Gave Birth to a Son as Tornado Killed Her Daughter

More on Friday night's devastating twister
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2023 3:28 PM CDT
After the Tornado, Tales of Extreme Tragedy
Harvey Cockrell, left, and his wife Mary Cockrell, look over their neighbors house, Lonnie and Melissa Pierce, who were killed when a semi truck landed on their house during a tornado that hit three days earlier, Monday, March 27, 2023, in Rolling Fork, Miss.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A tornado packing winds of up to 200mph wreaked havoc on the towns of Rolling Fork and Silver City, Mississippi, on Friday night, killing at least 21 people. More on the victims and what made this storm particularly deadly:

  • Lonnie and Melissa Pierce were killed when a neighbor's 18-wheeler was picked up and dropped onto the couple's brick home "like a bomb," reports the AP. What's left of their Sharkey County home: a mound of broken rubble with a truck perched atop it. The Pierces were among 13 people who died in the western Mississippi county of 4,200 residents.
  • NBC News looks at the role economics played, particularly in the town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi. Some 21% of residents there live in poverty (the national poverty rate is 12%, per the AP), and mobile homes and manufactured housing are common. Per National Weather Service stats, 54% of tornado-related fatalities occur in mobile homes, and the town didn't have any emergency structures built for residents to seeks shelter in.
  • Among the mobile-home victims: a 2-year-old named Aubrey who had been brought to her grandmother's mobile home on Friday night so that her mother could go to the hospital to give birth to her second child. Dominique Green had a baby boy and lost her daughter in a 24-hour period, reports CNN.
  • The tornado's path measured 59.4 miles, per the National Weather Service, and the Washington Post uses other stats to show just how atypical that is. Of the more than 65,000 tornadoes recorded in the US since 1950, the average path measures less than four miles. Fewer than 1% had a path that measured more than 50 miles.
(More tornado stories.)

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