HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - February 10, 2013 is a day that will be forever remembered for those that endured the violent EF-4 tornado that ripped through Hattiesburg and surrounding areas.
Footage and interviews from one year ago reveal the shock, despair, and fear that Pine Belt residents felt immediately after the storm.
"I've never been so afraid in my whole life," said one man.
The damage assessment revealed the startling statistics: 170 mph winds, over 22 miles of destruction, 33 terrifying minutes on the ground.
"We should be dead, I mean, we should be," agreed another.
That is the real miracle. The fact that no one lost their life can likely be attributed to the 30 minutes lead time that meteorologists and emergency personnel provided.
"It's almost unbelievable that we went through an F-4 tornado in downtown Hattiesburg with 1100 homes damaged or destroyed and no deaths or serious injuries," said Terry Steed, Executive Director of the EOC. "I've been doing this 20 years and I've talked to a lot of people that have been very close to tornados. I've never talked to anyone that wanted to be close to the second one."