MEMA: Severe weather in MS damaged 480 homes, killed 4

Jan 23, 2017, 00:30
MEMA: Severe weather in MS damaged 480 homes, killed 4

A pre-dawn tornado Saturday left four people dead in Hattiesburg, as it tore through southern MS, ripping up trees and tearing roofs off homes and churches.

Power outages are also causing problems in the state, and downed power lines are keeping people from traveling.

Gov. Phil Bryant said he has been in regular contact with the emergency agency and "ordered all available resources toward rescue and recovery".

Darryl McMorris held onto his two daughters - one under each arm - as their house collapsed around them.

Hattiesburg has taken a lot of damage, the National Weather Service said in an advisory. The vast majority of those are in Forrest County, where a tornado ripped through the Hattiesburg area early morning.

More than 40 firefighters from across MS are assembling outside Hattiesburg police headquarters to search for the dead and injured from an early morning tornado.

According to an HPD press release, the most affected areas are Edwards Street (near Cypress Street), James Street (near Tipton Street), Arledge Street, William Carey University and a residential area near Richburg Road.

The university said some students had minor injuries, and some dorms were damaged. "There is damage to most buildings on campus, [as well as] cars and a home across campus".

Mississippi Power crews are assessing damage and working to restore power in the areas that are safe for them to work.

The campus is now closed and students are being told to go home. He observed buildings that had windows blown out and were standing with water.

Greg Flynn of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said rescuers are still searching the stricken area for more possible victims.

Trees and debris cover the ground after a tornado tornado ripped through the Hattiesburg, Miss., area early Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.

The National Weather Service in Jackson warned of hazardous weather Saturday in parts of southeast Arkansas, northeast Louisiana and in central, north central, northwest and west central Mississippi. Warnings of severe thunderstorms accompanied by a risk for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes have been issued across parts of the southeast throughout Sunday.

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