A tornado that hit southern Mississippi on Saturday morning has destroyed many homes and authorities have confirmed that at least four people were killed by the storm. Homes in the area were completely destroyed while others had their roofs torn off by the large tornado.
The tornado affected Hattiesburg, a city in Forrest County with a population of 46,000 people. Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said earlier today that four people had lost their lives after the storm blew through the area. Rescue teams are currently in the area, where more than 1000 people have reportedly been left without electricity by the storm.
Extensive damage has been reported in the city, where Mayor Johnny DuPree has already signed an emergency declaration. Authorities have not revealed the names of those who lost their lives in the storm but Monica McCarty, who lives in Hattiesburg, said her son and father died as the tornado struck the area.
Cities of Hattiesburg and Petal Most Affected
The area was struck by the tornado at around 4 am and emergency was declared shortly after. A fire station was reportedly affected by the storm as power lines were blocking firetrucks. Electricity workers were sent in to remove the power lines that were blocking the building. More than 20 people were injured during the storm and Mayor Johnny DuPree, who spoke to WDAM 7 News a few hours ago, said that any residents in need of help should call the City Action Line.
The storm caused the most damage in the Hattiesburg and Petal areas, where many homes were destroyed by the large tornado. The National Weather service confirmed that the largest city in Forrest County had taken a lot of damage. A school in the city of Petal has already announced that it will continue classes in a different location after the tornado.