HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Hattiesburg and the Pine Belt need recovery assistance. President Donald Trump tells Mississippi's governor he'll "expedite the recovery process." Gov. Phil Bryant posted a message on Facebook detailing some of his Thursday night phone call with the president. Mississippi has requested federal disaster assistance to help 1,400 homeowners in eight counties rebuild what the Saturday tornado destroyed. Gov. Bryant's Facebook post said Mr. Trump "will sign the major disaster declaration as soon as possible. He wanted all Mississippians to know that he and his administration stand with us during these challenging times."
As storm victims wait for that assistance, they're searching through storm debris, looking for personal items they can salvage. That will be the case Wednesday at William Carey University. Students will return to campus for the first time since an EF-3 twister ravaged the area. Students were asked to vacate the campus over the weekend right after the storm. School officials say every building sustained some damage. Now, the students will be making their way back into the dorms that they've called home during their time at Carey.
The school is opening up dorms on a schedule. Davis-Futral and Byrd-Braswell are set to open Wednesday from 9am to 4pm. The other dorms will not open on Wednesday. Polk, Bryant, and Bass will open Thursday. Ross Hall and the Penton Apartments will open Friday. Johnson Hall will open Saturday.
The school will have pastors and counselors on campus while the students sift through their belongings to help them deal with what's sure to be an emotional day.