A ONE-year-old girl was killed along with her father after a series of deadly tornadoes ripped through Mississippi.
The violent storm consisted of at least a dozen hurricanes that ripped through the Midwest Friday night and have now claimed 26 lives.
The tornado tore down the family home of Ethan Herndon, 33, and Riley Herndon, 1, and the couple died devastatingly.
Ethan’s wife, Elizabeth, and their other two children, Brantley, 7, and Aubrey, 4, were seriously injured when the tornado struck but survived.
The trail of destruction left in its wake is catastrophic as the powerful hurricanes tore down power lines and ripped houses out of the ground.
A GoFundMe was set up by a Mississippi resident for the Herndon family following the tragic loss of Ethan and Riley.
“This sweet family is devastated physically and emotionally,” the fundraiser’s description read.
“You have suffered the most painful and terrible loss any of us can imagine and your needs are obvious and great.”
According to the site, Elizabeth suffered multiple injuries, including a broken arm and leg and a dislocated hip.
Brantley, the eldest child, was immediately flown to LeBonheur Hospital with broken bones, a torn liver and a punctured lung.
The second oldest, Aubrey, has now also been transferred to LeBonheur with multiple lacerations, a broken elbow and a possible fractured ankle.
GoFundMe launched Saturday morning with a fundraising goal of $30,000 – but after the site was online for just 15 hours, it has raised over $91,500.
An anonymous donor donated $10,000 to the cause.
The page has been flooded with words of encouragement and condolences to the Hendon family following the devastating loss of the father and daughter.
One wrote: “I am so sorry for the loss this family has suffered and healing prayers for the injured family members.”
Another commented: “I don’t know this family personally but prayers are open to them all. May God comfort her and put his loving arms around her and hold her tight at this tragic time.”
One of the most destructive of the dozen tornadoes swept through at least 170 miles of Mississippi and the National Weather Service dispatched emergency response teams to assess the extent of the damage caused yesterday.
Drone footage shows buildings blown to pieces as the ferocious cyclone destroyed everything in its path.
Footage from Rolling Fork shows wrecked homes and wrecked vehicles trapped in rubble while household items are scattered outside.
Local residents were seen surveying the damage to their property and looking for any valuables they could salvage.
A woman whose mother lived in Rolling Fork, where the first tornado landed, described the painful moments arriving at the scene and witnessing damage, the Daily Mail reports.
Lequita Barfield said she heard a tornado swept through her mother’s hometown and panicked when she didn’t respond.
The daughter explained her mother lives in a trailer and “just got a feeling something’s wrong”.
“I jumped in the car and hit the road,” she said.
Lequita recalls the moment she arrived at Rolling Fork and found everything “just gone” as she walked through the massive rubble to her mother’s house.
Lequita’s mother’s house had been turned upside down during the destruction.
She then goes on to explain how a man led her into an alley where a motionless body lay under a mattress.
The grieving daughter told local media that she tried to pull out her mother’s body but to no avail.
“My mother’s gone,” she said. “My mother is gone.”
Earlier yesterday, the White House offered full federal assistance to “those who have lost loved ones” due to the storm.
President Joe Biden said he and his wife Jill are “praying for those who have lost loved ones” and “for those whose loved ones are missing.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was contacted by Biden after the devastation, where they later tweeted, “Following last night’s devastating tornadoes, we are coordinating with @MSEMA officials to provide support to impacted communities.
“We are working closely with our government partners to assess the affected areas. Our thoughts are with these communities and their families.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7720111/mississippi-tornado-one-year-old-girl-dies-alongside-dad/ Mississippi tornado: Year-old girl dies alongside dad after Twister destroys family home as death toll reaches 26