Tornado Strikes Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Damaging Hundreds of Homes

by Colonel on February 11, 2013

“Residents shaken by a tornado that mangled homes in Mississippi were waking up Monday to a day of removing trees, patching roofs and giving thanks for their survival. More than a dozen in the state were injured.

Daylight also offered emergency management officials the chance to get a better handle on the damage that stretched across several counties. Gov. Phil Bryant planned to visit hard-hit Hattiesburg, where a twister moved along one of the city’s main streets and damaged buildings at the governor’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi. Emergency officials said late Sunday that at least 10 people were injured in surrounding Forrest County and three were hurt to the west in Marion County, but they weren’t aware of any deaths.

” — Holbrook Mohr and Janet McConnaughey, Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

“The [University of Southern Mississippi] released a statement saying several buildings had been damaged, but no injuries were reported. Campus police declared a state of emergency and asked anyone not on campus to stay away.

Southern Miss senior Paul Gates was at home when he looked out his window and saw the tornado. “It was a little terrifying for a second,” he said. Gates said he heard the tornado before he saw it. “It sounded like the proverbial freight train,” he said.

In a press conference Sunday night, Joe Paul, Southern Miss vice president for student affairs, discussed the damage the tornado inflicted on campus.

“It appears that the tornado cut a swath just on the very most southerly part of the campus coming right down Hardy Street,” he said. “So, the damage is really to our front door.”

” — William M. Welch, Copyright 2013 USAToday

“The tornado caused the worst damage on the southern part of the campus, reports CBS affiliate WHLT in Hattiesburg. At least six academic buildings were damaged, an official said, but all residential buildings are secure.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said it appears a single tornado caused the damage in Forrest, Marion and Lamar counties. Hundreds of homes are damaged in Forrest County, along with a couple dozen in the other two.

Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee says 10 or 15 people were injured by the tornado that slammed Hattiesburg and other parts of the county — but none of the injuries was serious.

” — Copyright 2013 CBS Interactive Inc/The Associated Press

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