PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has confirmed three deaths and more than 20 injuries from severe weather that struck south Mississippi Saturday morning.
There is extensive damage from a tornado in Forrest County in and around the cities of Hattiesburg and Petal.
Gov. Phil Bryant has authorized a State of Emergency to provide state resources.
The State Emergency Operations Center is activated with MEMA and key state agencies coordinating resources to the affected areas.
Search and Rescue:
Two state search and rescue teams, Mississippi Task Force Two and Three have been deployed to Forrest County.
MS Department of Public Safety:
- 28 troopers have deployed to assist the Hattiesburg Police Department and Forrest County with search and rescue and traffic control.
MS Department of Transportation:
· Highway 43 in Marion County is closed due to flooding. All other major state roadways are open.
· There are power lines and debris over a large area so the public is asked to avoid travelling.
- Eight MDOT Law Enforcement Officers have been deployed to assist the Hattiesburg Police Department
- Three Canteen Units have been deployed to assist in the Hattiesburg area.
MS Department of Health:
- Coordinating additional ambulance services to Hattiesburg and other affected areas.
MS Department of Human Services:
- Supervising shelter operations with American Red Cross
· Forrest County Multipurpose Center, 962 Sullivan Drive, Hattiesburg.
MS National Guard:
· Conducting aerial damage assessments.
· Providing equipment from Camp Shelby for debris removal.
There are more than 16,000 customers without power statewide.
Preliminary damage reports by county:
· Numerous homes damaged in cities of Hattiesburg and Petal.
· Fire Dept. in Petal damaged.
· William Carey College damaged.
· Numerous injuries reported
· State’s search and rescue team deployed
· Salvation Army building damaged
· Multiple injuries reported
· Multiple homes damaged, one injury reported.
· Trees and power lines down.
· Numerous homes damaged.
· Homes damaged.
Damage assessments are ongoing by county and city officials.
MEMA will provide updates as information becomes available. The best way to get up-to-date information during this event is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter @msema.