Severe weather today could bring hail, tornadoes

Published 6:57 am Saturday, January 21, 2017

Southwest Mississippi is under the threat of severe weather with the possibility of tornadoes this morning, according to the National Weather Service. The threat for flooding is limited.

Torrential downpours will make localized flooding possible.

Severe thunderstorms are also a possibility tonight, starting in the early afternoon hours. NWS says the main risks will be hail up to quarter size and damaging winds up to 60 mph. “A few tornadoes cannot be ruled out,” according to the NWS website.

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The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is receiving reports of extensive damage from ongoing severe weather this morning.

Forrest, Lamar and Perry counties are all reporting structural damage. MEMA is coordinating response efforts.

Search and Rescue teams are being deployed to assist Forrest County emergency management in the Hattiesburg area.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is reporting I-59 north of Hattiesburg is closed due to debris.

There are power lines and debris over a large area so the public is asked to avoid travelling.

Severe weather is still moving through the southeastern part of the state.