Published: Sun, January 22, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Tornado Rips Through Southern Mississippi, Killing 4

Tornado Rips Through Southern Mississippi, Killing 4

Hattiesburg city officials said four people were confirmed dead and that the mayor, Johnny DuPree, had signed an emergency declaration amid "significant injuries and structural damages".

Students were moved to a music building as a precaution.Initial reports on social media show severe damage in downtown Hattiesburg and indicate that the area may have taken a direct hit from the tornado.

The twister touched down about 3:30 a.m., killing four people and causing destruction to homes, roads, businesses and William Carey University.

Damage also was reported elsewhere in Forrest County - which includes Hattiesburg - as well as Lamar and Perry counties, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.

Barker asks that volunteers bring trash bags - they've been requested by William Carey students who were on campus when the tornado struck.

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Mississippi Power crews are assessing damage and working to restore power in the areas that are safe for them to work. "There is damage to most buildings on campus including cars and a home across campus is damaged". Some students reporting minor injuries. "Damage to dorms, Tatum Court, Thomas Hall", the University's Twitter account stated on Saturday morning.

There are conflicting reports as to how many people have died in the storm.

The storm downed power lines and forced the closing of Interstate 59 north of Hattiesburg, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.

Severe thunderstorms are likely Saturday evening in those areas, with the possibility of golf ball-size hail, heavy winds and tornadoes.

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