The south is currently being hit with a swarm of tornado-spawning storms, proving to be a puzzling issue for some emergency workers already beleaguered by the coronavirus pandemic. In Mississippi, emergency officials kept a close eye on Texas and Louisiana and wanted to let people in the state know that they were prepared to support them through the dangerous time.
At the same time, they were also stressing social distancing guidelines already in place for the fight against the coronavirus, meaning the stress is enhanced for all involved and some people were juggling crises to remain safe.
Director Michel and our team are monitoring the weather and standby ready to assist. Have a safe place to go. If you go to a public shelter please wear a mask, bandana, or scarf around your nose and mouth. Practice social distancing. We will get through this! pic.twitter.com/owoDLwL3rI— msema (@MSEMA) April 12, 2020
Mississippi's Emergency Management Agency continued to update its Twitter account on Sunday, including views inside their command center to show those people hard at work.
At the same time, many citizens shared their experiences and the damage from the storms online, giving a clear picture of how many were managing the dual situations. Meteorologist Tyler Jankoski shared a look at the map facing down Mississippi's citizens.
"The little circle is the violent (likely EF4/5) tornado in Mississippi," he wrote on Twitter. "Sending debris 30,000 feet in the air. The big circle is where that debris is falling out of the sky, up to 60 miles away from where the tornado is on the ground."
This EF-5 in Mississippi looks to now be the most destructive tornado since the one in Joplin, Missouri in 2011 that reached a maximum width of 1 mile. This looks to now be worse. If you are in Mississippi, take cover now! pic.twitter.com/GhY2FGvKPo— JayCutlerWrld (@JayCutlerWrld) April 12, 2020
Some online captured images of the tornado itself, showing just how large the area affected is in the state. Others shared their time in a shelter, noting that while it was packed with people, many were still practicing their social distancing.
Mississippi, like other states, did make it very clear that while social distancing and protecting yourself from the coronavirus is important, the tornado is priority one. Photos of the damage being shared from where the storm has already struck help to drive this point home.
It is the type of situation that some cannot plan for at all. Tornadoes in general are somewhat unpredictable and already require their own specific preparations to remain safe. The unknown connected to the coronavirus amplifies all of that into a strange area.