Twister kills four in Hattiesburg area of Mississippi

  • Twister kills four in Hattiesburg area of Mississippi

Twister kills four in Hattiesburg area of Mississippi

William Carey University also took a major hit from the storm, reports WDAM-TV.

A deadly storm ripped through Southern Mississippi early Saturday killing four people, and flattening dozens of homes and businesses, according to the Associated Press.

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

"Search and rescue teams are being deployed to assist Forest County emergency management in the Hattiesburg area", the agency said in a statement.

Heavy damage and injuries have been reported in the city of almost 50,000. Also hard hit were nearby Lamar and Perry counties.

Most of Hattiesburg's damage appeared to be on the downtown's outskirts, DuPree said. Some students did report minor injuries after the severe weather passed. Dormitories and other buildings were damaged, the school said.

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

"Officials working to ensure students are safe".

William Carey public relations coordinator Mia Overton reported some students were injured. "Arrangements will be made for students who can not go home".

Photos and television images showed the intensity of the damage.

WDAM reporters and editors posted to Twitter pictures of severe damage in Hattiesburg and in Petal, an adjacent city of about 10,400 people.

Severe storms will track across south Alabama through Saturday morning, where a tornado watch is in effect.

"At 3:45 a.m. CST, a confirmed tornado was located over West Hattiesburg, moving northeast at 50 miles per hour", read a NWS Severe Weather Statement issued at 3:46 a.m.