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Amid Covid-19 Pandemic, Deadly Tornadoes Sweep through U.S. South

Tornado damage is seen in the city of Monroe, Louisiana, after tornadoes and severe thunderstorms swept through many parts of the U.S. South on Sunday and Monday. The deadly storms add complications for communities already impacted by Covid-19. (Photo courtesy of the City of Monroe)
Tornado damage is seen in the city of Monroe, Louisiana, after tornadoes and severe thunderstorms swept through many parts of the U.S. South on Sunday and Monday. The deadly storms add complications for communities already impacted by Covid-19. (Photo courtesy of the City of Monroe)

More than two dozen people were killed after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept through the South that began Sunday and continued into Monday.

The storms left more than 1 million people without power across eight states, and deaths were reported in Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina. Damage from the storms was also reported in part of Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and North Carolina.

Covid-19 Complications

With emergency shelters needed for those with damaged or destroyed housing, emergency officials are working to address the challenge of social distancing in a shelter setting.

While some jurisdictions are opening emergency shelters with Covid-19 precautions in place, many places are using empty hotels to house those affected in hotel rooms rather than opening traditional emergency shelters.

On Monday, Direct Relief sent an alert out to 39 partner health facilities in northern Louisiana (7), Mississippi (20), and northwest Georgia (12). Direct Relief has provided more than 5,000 shipments during the past three weeks to assist health facilities across the United States battling the Covid-19 pandemic, including to states impacted by these storms.

The organization stands ready to assist with medical aid needed for emergency response, particularly in light of the added complications that Covid-19 brings.

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