HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, four state senators and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree visited Forrest and Lamar Counties to get a first-hand view of the damage caused by the tornado. This was the first time Reeves had been to the area.
"When you look at the devastation that occurred throughout this area, you can't help but want to pray for these individuals that suffered very greatly," Reeves said.
Reeves was encouraged by the strength of the Pine Belt.
"I see the cooperation of individuals. With William Carey working so closely with the University of Southern Mississippi and other institutions, we as Mississippians are going to work together to do great things to rebuild these communities and to rebuild this campus," Reeves said.
In order for the Pine Belt to rebuild, it is going to take a lot of time, effort and money.
"There's a lot of avenues," Reeves said. "The Federal Government and FEMA will be here and they will do their assessments and be helpful where possible, but it also includes raising money from individuals, institutions and from private sector donations."
Reeves ended with his statement with encouraging words directed toward everyone affected by the storms.
"Just like the sun is out today and it's a beautiful day out, there are brighter days ahead," Reeves said.