The tornado that touched down in southern Mississippi on Sunday just after 5 p.m. has injured more than a dozen people and caused widespread damage. The Red Cross is responding to severe weather damage in multiple counties in Mississippi. From Hattiesburg, one tornado eyewitness tweets, “Scariest thing I have ever lived thru.”
A CNN report on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, writes that there have been no reported deaths so far. Search and rescue operations are underway in the damaged areas of Hattiesburg. Some people may be trapped.
The governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency in four counties: Forrest, Lamar, Lawrence and Marion.
Hattiesburg, which overlaps between Forrest and Lamar counties, is home to the University of Southern Mississippi. According to several tweets on #Hattiesburg on Sunday night, several buildings, including the University of Southern Mississippi and Oak Grove High School, have suffered severe damage.
“Randy Wright posted photographs to his Twitter account of the school, showing debris strewn on what looked to be a parking lot and a truck upside down in a baseball diamond. The Hattiesburg Public School District canceled classes Monday. The university campus will also be closed.”
The Red Cross is responding to the severe tornado damage in all of the affected counties. Earliest reports from the tornado damage indicate that more than 50 families have been displaced and several homes are without power.
Anyone that has been displaced by the tornado and needs help, the Red Cross will be posting shelter times and locations on www.mississippi-redcross.org. The American Red Cross also provides a map of the United States where a shelter can be searched by zip code.
“If you are in immediate need of shelter during a disaster, please use the map below to locate your nearest options, or contact your local Red Cross chapter.”
The shelters can be found via the American Red Cross Find Open Shelters search website.