Three confirmed deaths and more than 20 injuries from severe weather in Forrest County and surrounding areas

Published 10:40 am Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has confirmed three deaths and more than 20 injuries from severe weather that struck south Mississippi Saturday morning.

There is extensive damage from a tornado in Forrest County in and around the cities of Hattiesburg and Petal.

Gov. Phil Bryant has authorized a State of Emergency to provide state resources.

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The State Emergency Operations Center is activated with MEMA and key state agencies coordinating resources to the affected areas.

Search and Rescue:

Two state search and rescue teams, Mississippi Task Force Two and Three have been deployed to Forrest County.

MS Department of Public Safety:

  • 28 troopers have deployed to assist the Hattiesburg Police Department and Forrest County with search and rescue and traffic control.

MS Department of Transportation:

  • Hwy. 43 in Marion County is closed due to flooding.  All other major state roadways are open.
  • There are power lines and debris over a large area so the public is asked to avoid travelling.
  • Eight MDOT Law Enforcement Officers have been deployed to assist the Hattiesburg Police Department

Salvation Army:

  • Three Canteen Units have been deployed to assist in the Hattiesburg area.

MS Department of Health:

  • Coordinating additional ambulance services to Hattiesburg and other affected areas.

MS Department of Human Services:

  • Supervising shelter operations with American Red Cross

Shelter open:

  • Forrest County Multipurpose Center, 962 Sullivan Drive, Hattiesburg.

MS National Guard:

  • Conducting aerial damage assessments.
  • Providing equipment from Camp Shelby for debris removal.

Power Outages:

There are more than 16,000 customers without power statewide.

Preliminary damage reports by county:


  • Numerous homes damaged in cities of Hattiesburg and Petal.
  • Fire Dept. in Petal damaged.
  • William Carey College damaged.
  • Numerous injuries reported
  • State’s search and rescue team deployed
  • Salvation Army building damaged
  • Multiple injuries reported


  • Multiple homes damaged, one injury reported.
  • Trees and power lines down.


  • Numerous homes damaged.


  • Homes damaged.