Tornado Hits Southern Mississippi Reportedly Killing At Least 4 People

Four people were killed early Saturday when a tornado ripped through the Hattiesburg area, officials in MS said.

At least four people were confirmed dead, the City of Hattiesburg announced on its social media accounts.

It came as a band of severe weather moved across the region, and the NWS issued a tornado watch for parts of Alabama and Florida until 10 a.m. ET.

Four people died during the early morning twister.

Most of the damage occurred on the downtown's outskirts, according to DuPree, who pointed out that a fire station as well as parts of William Carey University - a private Christian college with almost 4,000 students - were worst affected by the storms. They say they're working as quickly as possible to get power restored to everyone. "They said he was laying in the bed", McCarty said of her son.

According to the Associated Press (AP), "Mayor Johnny DuPree signed an emergency declaration for the city, which reported significant structural damage".

"I had a little hole I could squeeze out of", he said. Dozens of homes were damaged.

Benedict stated, according to USA Today, that the two victims of the tornado who had lived in a trailer park were 58-year-old Ernest Perkins and 47-year-old David Wayne McCoy.

Extensive damage was also been reported on Sullivan Kilraine Road and Richburg Road in Lamar County. "Search and rescue teams are being deployed to assist Forest County emergency management in the Hattiesburg area", his agency said in a statement.

The heavy storms hit parts of the southern MS early Saturday as National Weather Service office in Jackson dispatched a damage survey team to the area to probe what was believed to be a tornado that struck Forrest, Lamar and Perry counties, damaging buildings in Hattiesburg and Petal, including a college and a fire station.

Flynn said the tornado touched down in Lamar, plowed through Forrest and then struck Perry before dissipating.

The university reports some students had minor injuries, and some dorms were damaged.

The university tweeted that the Hattiesburg campus is closed until further notice: "Students are being escorted from campus".

"We just purchased this business on July 29 and totally remodeled it", Holland said.

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