Seven dead, half a million without power as storms batter South

(NEW YORK) — Seven people died and hundreds of thousands were left without power as violent storms swept through the South on Sunday.

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi all declared a state of emergency Sunday in response to the storms, which included several powerful tornadoes, flash flooding and large hail.

In Mississippi, tornadoes killed three residents in Jefferson Davis County, two in Lawrence County and one each in Walthall and Jones counties.

The two Lawrence County victims were a sheriff’s deputy and his wife, the county sheriff’s office announced late Sunday night. Deputy Robert Ainsworth was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and his wife Paula was a Justice Court deputy clerk, officials said.

As of Sunday night, Arkansas, Texas and Alabama each had more than 100,000 residents without power. Kentucky had more than 60,000 residents without power, while Mississippi had more than 40,000 and Georgia and Louisiana had more than 30,000.

Other states suffering outages included Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina.

“This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter Sunday,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said on social media. “As we reflect on the death and resurrection on this Easter Sunday, we have faith that we will all rise together.”

“To the people of Mississippi, know that you are not alone,” he added. “The state and our first responders are working around the clock and will not rest until this is over.”

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