PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has received reports of at least 570 homes destroyed or receiving major damage as a result of tornadoes and severe storms that moved through the state on Sunday.  There were at least 80 injuries, two critical, and the rest minor.  There are no reported deaths. There are approximately 7,000 customers still without power.

FEMA is sending teams to Mississippi to begin official joint damage assessments that will begin Wednesday morning with MEMA, local officials and members of the Small Business Administration.  The results of those assessments will be used to determine if Mississippi is eligible for federal assistance.

A survey team from the National Weather Service in Jackson reports the tornado in the Oak Grove/Hattiesburg area was an EF-4 with maximum winds of 170 mph. Another survey team confirmed EF-2 tornado damage in southwestern Marion County from near the Walthall County line through the Pickwick community. The end point still has not been determined as surveys continue. The National Weather Service has determined that this was a separate tornado track from the one that moved through Hattiesburg.

Two shelters remain open for affected residents:

  • Forrest County Community 361 Shelter on U.S. 49 South in Hattiesburg.
  • Lamar County Multipurpose Center at 99 Central Industrial Rd. in Purvis.

Residents of storm-affected areas that have immediate needs can call 2-1-1 and register (alternate number: 866-472-8265). Representatives with 2-1-1 will call when their needs can be met.

People interested in volunteering to assist with the clean-up are encouraged to sign up with the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service at www.volunteermississippi.org or by calling 1-888-353-1793.

Gov. Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency Sunday night for Lawrence, Marion, Lamar, Forrest and any other counties affected by the severe weather.  The State of Emergency allows for the use of state resources and assets to support local governments in their response efforts.

A list of counties reporting damages are as follows:

Forrest County:

  • One hundred and thirty three homes destroyed, 207 with major damage with assessments still ongoing.
  • Hospitals reported treating 63 people for minor injuries.

Humphreys County:

  • At least one home and horse arena damaged.

Lamar County:

  • Fifty-one homes destroyed and 170 with major damage.
  • Eight injuries, two critical.

Lawrence County:

  • Several homes damaged and minor injuries.

Marion County:

  • Nine homes destroyed, four with major damage and three injuries.

Perry County:

  • Road damage

Warren County:

  • Trees down and flooding on multiple streets.

Wayne County:

  • One home destroyed and six with major damage.
  • One bridge sustained major damage.

Yazoo County:

  • Trees down and flooding on multiple streets.

Initial damage assessments are still underway in affected counties, and reported figures could change as updates are reported to the State Emergency Operations Center in Pearl.

State and local emergency officials remain on the ground in impacted areas. MEMA will report updates as they are available.

The public is encouraged to follow MEMA on Twitter and Facebook for information.

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