Seven people have been killed in storms and tornadoes across the South late Wednesday, with at least 40 people injured, according to officials.
Among the dead was a 7-year-old boy in Holly Springs, Mississippi, according to Mayor Kelvin Buck. No further details about the circumstances were immediately available. An additional 15 people were injured in Holly Springs. Search and rescue efforts will continue overnight, the mayor told ABC News.
Also killed were a husband and wife, both in their 60s, and another man in his 60s, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Department.
Dramatic photos of the storm bearing down on Holly Springs emerged Wednesday night.
@spann. Holly Springs tornado facing south on highway 7 at O'Reilly's. #mswx #prayforhollysprings pic.twitter.com/r7fJNmnmN9
— James Overton (@musicmanjim) December 24, 2015
At least six counties reported damage in Mississippi, where at least 40 were reported injured.
— Melissa Farris (@MelissaSFarris) December 23, 2015
One of the storms hit Bellevue, Mississippi, and damaged 10 to 15 homes. At least seven homes were destroyed, according to Coahoma County Emergency Management.
Five injuries were reported there and two additional severe injuries were reported near Shannon Airport, in the Clarksdale, Mississippi area, the department said.
In nearby Como, at least two homes were damaged.
In Perry County, Tennessee, there were two confirmed fatalities.
In Wayne County, Tennessee, there was major structural damage to several buildings and homes in the area, according to Wayne County Sheriff Ric Wilson. There were several injuries as well, he said.
In Atkins, Arkansas, police, fire and rescue officials were dispatched to a residence on an entrapment call. High winds and heavy rain had caused a large tree to uproot and fall onto a house. An 18-year-old woman and an 18-month toddler were inside. The toddler was extricated by emergency personnel and transported to an area hospital. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Some 68 million Americans were forecast to be in the path of the storms Wednesday night.
A “particularly dangerous situation” tornado watch was issued from Monroe, Louisiana, to Jackson, Tennessee.
In addition to Mississippi, severe storms were predicted for parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama.