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A Mississippi meteorologist prayed to Jesus during a live television broadcast Friday as he watched a major tornado head straight for the town of Amory.
Shortly before 11:00pm on Friday, WTVA’s Matt Laubhan began to pray as he watched a mile-wide tornado preparing to strike the small town.
“Oh man, north side of Amory, this is coming in,” he said. “Oh, man. Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.”
Covering the tornado’s progress in real time, the Emmy-winning weatherman grew emotional, warning his viewers in Amory to be “in our safe place.”
He also confessed that the path of tornadoes is ultimately unpredictable.
“Here’s the thing about this, y’all trust me too much,” he said. “I tell you where it’s going to go and some of you guys are like: ‘That’s where it’s gonna go.’ The reality of this, this could be changing direction.”
The tornado, classified as “violent” and given the second-highest rating possible (EF-4), ripped through many parts of Mississippi and into Alabama as well, killing at least 26 people, including a baby and her father.
Rescue efforts are under way and emergency services are attempting to dig through the debris left behind by the tornado. Mississippi declared a state of emergency on Sunday.
Mississippi state governor Tate Reeves visited Silver City and Winona on Saturday to meet residents who had suffered from the tornado’s impact. Reeves described the situation as a “tragedy,” writing: “We are blessed with brave, capable responders and loving neighbors. Please continue to pray.”
Reeves also tweeted out a picture of Amory first responders and volunteers with heads bowed in prayer for their community.
“Incredibly inspired by how Mississippians have come together in this tragic moment. God is good, and our state is strong,” Reeves wrote.
Amory first responders and volunteers ending the day by bowing their heads in prayer for their community.
Incredibly inspired by how Mississippians have come together in this tragic moment. God is good, and our state is strong. pic.twitter.com/yldjJGGSYS
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 25, 2023
“When there’s a crisis, Mississippians respond quickly and generously to help their neighbors in need,” Reeves declared.