Hub City transit up and running

Hub City transit up and running
Hub City transit/Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg's mass transit system took a direct hit from Saturday's EF-3 tornado.

The twister, which hit the facility located on James Street, threw buses into a nearby creek and left twisted metal wrapped around a steel frame.

"All of our buses had damages to them, there were 3 or 4 buses that ended up in the creek and we had to pull them out, the new bus that we had just for downtown transit ended up in the creek as well," Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said. "Every bus we had has some kind of damage, windows blown out, some kind of damage."

On Wednesday, the city transit system was brought back online with the help of the Gulf Coast Transit Authority.

"We are back up and running, because of the coast transit authority," DuPree said.

Hub City resident Michael Girdner said the buses are a key for many people's transportation needs.

"It means a lot, because I mean you got people that want to help but can't…but those who can and they are, it means a lot to the other people that can't really get around like most people can, so we use the bus system," Girdner said.

Girdner said more people use the buses than you would think.

"But without the buses, some of us wouldn't be able to get to work, get our kids to where they need to be, so it's a big help," he said.

DuPree said, "It's people helping people, its jurisdictions helping other jurisdictions the way they can and whatever they can do. We've had people to call us from all over the state, offering to help because our mass transit was basically gone."

DuPree said he and the city appreciate the coast transit system helping the Hub City in their time of need.