HATTIESBURG, Miss. — An apparent tornado passed through the heart of Hattiesburg on Sunday as part of a wave of severe storms that caused injuries and significant damage.
Forrest County Fire Coordinator Chip Brown said there is major damage in Hattiesburg and to the northeast in Petal, including on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. He couldn't confirm injuries.
The storm passed along one of the city's main streets.
“We had a tornado touch down. We have a lot of damage,” said Kyle Hopkins, operations director for Forrest County emergency operations.
The university released a statement saying that several buildings had been damaged but that no injuries were reported. Campus police have declared a state of emergency and asked anyone not on campus to stay away.
Pictures posted on Facebook by WDAM in Hattiesburg showed rows of trees flattened in the Oak Grove area and damage to commercial buildings.
Marion County emergency director Aaron Greer says three injuries — at least one minor — have been reported in the community of Pickwick, about seven miles south of Columbia. He says one person was taken to a hospital by ambulance, another by Triple-A, and the third person didn't have the injury examined.