Hattiesburg: At least 12 people were injured and buildings were severely damaged on Sunday when a tornado struck one of the main streets here. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reportedly said that the tornado damage in the three counties.
The buildings in the campus of University of Southern Mississippi were severely affected by the tornado that damaged the windows of the buildings, ripped portions of the roof of the Alumni House, as per news agency report.
Emergency officials said 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.
The university released a statement saying no one was hurt but that it was under a state of emergency, anyone away from campus should stay away until further notice.
East of campus, 47-year-old Cindy Bullock was at home with her husband and dog, a terrier mix named Vinnie, when she heard the tornado coming. They ran to a hallway and covered their heads. It wasn`t long before the windows in the kitchen and bedroom exploded. The storm stripped all the shingles off the roof and left holes in it, while knocking over a large pine tree in the yard.
After dark, the Bullocks were trying to arrange their stuff inside so it wouldn`t get wet from the dripping water.
"I just looked out the window and I heard the rumbling. It sounded like a train. We ran to the hall, and the kitchen windows and the windows in the bedroom exploded. It happened pretty fast," she said.
There were large trees blocking the road all through her neighborhood, and several of the houses were hit by falling trees. Her friend was staying with them after the friend`s apartment took a direct hit from a falling tree.
To the west, Marion County emergency director Aaron Greer says three injuries have been reported in the community of Pickwick, about seven miles south of Columbia. He says two people were taken to hospitals, but the third didn`t have the injury examined.
Greer says one mobile home was destroyed, three other structures have major damage and several have minor damage.
Gov Phil Bryant plans to go to Hattiesburg on Monday to check out damage in the city and at USM, his alma mater, spokesman Mick Bullock said.