PEARL, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
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.
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.