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February 11, 2013

Significant storm damage in Miss.

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

The twister traveled down one of Hattiesburg’s main streets and mangled homes, commercial buildings and several structures on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. The state emergency management agency said it was only aware of three injuries in the state, all in a county to the west of Hattiesburg.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said it appears that a single tornado caused the damage in three counties.

On the campus of the university, trees were snapped in half around the heavily damaged Alumni House where part of the roof was ripped away. Windows in a nearby building were blown out, and heavy equipment worked to clear streets nearby in a heavy rain after the worst of the weather had passed.

The university released a statement saying no one was hurt but that it was under a state of emergency, anyone away from campus should stay away until further notice.

East of campus, 47-year-old Cindy Bullock was at home with her husband and dog, a terrier mix named Vinnie, when she heard the tornado coming. They ran to a hallway and covered their heads. It wasn’t long before the windows in the kitchen and bedroom exploded. The storm stripped all the shingles off the roof and left holes in it, while knocking over a large pine tree in the yard.

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