Heavy storms in southern United States kill 4, injure 20 in Mississippi

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"There are widespread power outages as the tornado ran across three counties lines", said Greg Flynn, spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Phil Bryant shared condolences on Facebook and said he had made contact with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency regarding relief.

Severe storms in southern MS have left at least four people dead and 20 others injured. "There is damage to most buildings on campus including cars and a home across campus is damaged".

Around 4 a.m. local time, the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi warned of a tornado moving through the town of Hattiesburg with an urgent message asking residents to take cover.

Downed power lines and debris have been reported over a wide area.

"I have been in regular contact with MEMA and have have ordered all available resources toward rescue and recovery", he said. Some students reporting minor injuries. Equipped with dogs and all-terrain vehicles, they were planning on doing a grid search from police headquarters to nearby William Carey University in one of the most heavily damaged areas. Three to five inches of rain have already fallen, according to the NWS, and an additional one to two inches could follow.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol reported that Interstate 59 north of Hattiesburg was closed due to debris and most roads in Petal were deemed impassible.

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Mississippi Power crews are assessing damage and working to restore power in the areas that are safe for them to work.

USA Today reported that the deadly tornado levelled homes, ripped the roofs off houses, and tossed trees into roadways in the area.

For students who were in their dorms when the tornado struck, it was terrifying. He observed buildings that had windows blown out and were standing with water.

William Carey sent students home from the campus where 3,200 of them study and 800 live.

The severe weather is expected to continue as it moves through the southeastern portion of the state.

Photos and television images showed the intensity of the damage.

Severe thunderstorms are likely Saturday evening in those areas, with the possibility of golf ball-size hail, heavy winds and tornadoes.