HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - The death toll in Forrest County has risen, with the coroner now reporting four people dead after at least one tornado ripped through the Pine Belt in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The severe weather hammered Hattiesburg and several outlying areas. It tore down homes, toppled trees and smashed vehicles. There are reports of damage at William Carey University in Hattiesburg. Students were moved to a music building as a precaution.
MEMA director Lee Smithson says at least 25 people got rushed to Forrest General Hospital. "We do expect to have more injuries as the search and rescue crews get into the neighborhoods," said Smithson during the 8:00 edition of Good Morning Mississippi Weekend. "It's a very widespread system that came through. We're asking the general public not to go into the impact areas right now."
Most of the damage is in Forrest, Lamar, Perry and Wayne Counties.
"We're sending the assets down for the immediate life-saving activities, with the focus right now on Forrest County," said Smithson.
WLOX News Now reporter Victor Williams is in Hattiesburg. He'll have new information on Good Morning Mississippi Weekend at 8:00.