February 11, 2013 in Nation/World

Damage, but no death in Mississippi tornado

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

The American Red Cross center in Hattiesburg, Miss., was destroyed by a tornado that moved through the area Sunday.
(Full-size photo)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – A tornado tore through Hattiesburg on Sunday as part of a wave of severe storms that downed trees, damaged buildings and injured more than a dozen people.

The twister traveled down one of Hattiesburg’s main streets and mangled homes, commercial buildings and structures on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.

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.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said it appears that a single tornado caused the damage in those two counties and Lamar County. Hundreds of homes were damaged in Forrest County, along with a couple dozen in the other two.

Flynn said the sheer scope of the damage was slowing the assessment of damage.

“The problem is, it was so strong that there’s so much debris that there’s a lot of areas they haven’t been able to get to yet,” he said.

On the campus of the university, trees were snapped in half around the heavily damaged Alumni House, where part of the roof was ripped away. Windows in a nearby building were blown out, and heavy equipment worked to clear streets nearby in a heavy rain after the worst of the weather had passed.

The university released a statement saying no one was hurt but that it was under a state of emergency, and anyone away from campus should stay away until further notice.

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