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CNN "Erin Burnett Outfront" - Transcript: Tornadoes in Mississippi


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BURNETT: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency and he joins me on the phone now from Jackson.

Governor, where are the storms right now? I understand there's a storm approaching Jackson at this moment.

GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R), MISSISSIPPI (via telephone): It is. Unfortunately, as we sit here in the headquarters of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, there is one very close. Now, this is a hardened target. So we should be able to withstand an EF-5 here. So we may lose the line, but we feel comfortable that we are in a protected area.

The storms are all over. They are in Winston County, Yazoo County, Montgomery County. I know that doesn't mean a lot to people outside of Mississippi, but if you can think about the northern two-thirds of the state, and even now into the Jackson area, where we're at now.

So, about two-thirds of the state has been affected. Tupelo has been hit hard. Devastating tornado there, hundreds of homes damaged, a number of injuries. Another area, Louisville, Mississippi, in Winston County hit hard.

One of the things that concerns us most there is the Winston Medical Center, that's had damage. We have one of our triage teams from the Jackson University Medical Center on site and a great deal of damage there at that hospital, which has an adjoining extended care home, as well.

BURNETT: Were they able to evacuate that, or at this time are you on sure?

BRYANT: We are unsure as to the process. Normally, what happens in that, they will try to bring them to the lower portion of the hospital and secure that rather than trying to evacuate patients.

But as you said, we've got television stations that have been evacuated, one in Jackson just issued a warning that they would have to go off the air momentarily and evacuate the television station, as they are reporting. So this is a historic -- I've been here all of my life. I've seen Katrina, tornados, but nothing of the magnitude that we've seen here, some 25, 26 tornado warnings.

Seven confirmed, seven confirmed tornados on the ground today, and unfortunately, more bad weather to follow tomorrow.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Governor. I appreciate your taking the time. Obviously, stay safe there.


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