Missionaries Safe following 2 Days of Violent Storms across U.S. Southeast

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 14 April 2020

People walk by tornado damage on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Cookeville, Tennessee. The storms hit the area early Tuesday morning. Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Article Highlights

  • Early assessments following deadly storms in the U.S. Southeast reveal no damage to Church-owned properties.

All Latter-day Saint missionaries serving across the U.S. Southeast are safe and accounted for following two days of widespread tornadoes and violent storms that have claimed more than 30 lives.

While damage assessments continue across the vast area hit hard by the weather, there were no early reports of damage to Church-owned buildings or properties, according to Church spokesman Doug Andersen. 

At least one member-owned home was reportedly impacted.

The storms battered regions of the South already on edge because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

More than 30 people have been killed, and more than 1 million homes and businesses were left without power amid floods and mudslides, the Associated Press reported.

Deaths were reported in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas. and North Carolina.

Mississippi governor Tate Reeves said the storms were “as bad or worse than anything we’ve seen in a decade.”

Meanwhile, Georgia governor Brian Kemp said some storm victims were already out of work because of shutdowns caused by COVID-19, the Associated Press reported.

“Now they have lost literally everything they own,” he said.

Striking first on Easter Sunday across a landscape largely emptied by coronavirus stay-at-home orders, the storm front forced some uncomfortable decisions. Alabama governor Kay Ivey suspended social-distancing rules, and some people wearing protective masks huddled closely together in storm shelters.

Widespread electrical outages caused by the storms were reported from Texas to Maine.