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Tornado touches down in Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A tornado tore through Hattiesburg on Sunday as part of a wave of severe storms that downed trees, damaged buildings, and caused at least several injuries.

The twister traveled down one of Hattiesburg’s main streets and caused what officials described as major damage, officials said, hitting several buildings on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Kyle Hopkins, emergency operations director for surrounding Forrest County, said officials had not confirmed injuries. There were reports of several people hurt elsewhere in the state.

The university released a statement saying that several buildings had been damaged but that no injuries were reported. Campus police declared a state of emergency and asked anyone not on campus to stay away. The storm overturned and damaged vehicles and threw debris around parts of the campus.

Pictures posted on Facebook by a television station in Hattiesburg showed rows of trees flattened in the Oak Grove area and damage to commercial buildings.

To the west, Marion County emergency director Aaron Greer said three injuries were reported in the community of Pickwick, about 7 miles south of Columbia. He said two people were taken to hospitals, but the third didn’t have the injury examined.

Greer said one mobile home was destroyed, three other structures had major damage, and several had minor damage.

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