HATTIESBURG, MS - A tornado ripped through parts of southern Mississippi early Saturday morning reportedly killing at least four people and leaving in its wake a trail of destroyed homes, collapsed buildings and other residents trapped in their homes. More than 40 firefighters from across Mississippi are assembling outside Hattiesburg police headquarters to search for the dead and injured from the early morning tornado.
Gulfport Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Henderson says the task force will do a grid search from the police headquarters to nearby William Carey University in one of the most heavily damaged areas. The firefighters are bringing dogs and all-terrain vehicles.
Hattiesburg police Lt. Allen Murray says authorities remain concerned about downed power lines and possible gas leaks and are encouraging people to stay at home.
Murray says that among structures damaged was a Hattiesburg fire station. He says the city does not yet have an estimate on how many buildings are damaged or destroyed.