A tornado ripped through Mississippi early Saturday morning, killing at least four people, injuring about 20 others and causing extensive damage to buildings and structures.
Around 4 a.m. local time, the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi warned of a tornado moving through the city of Hattiesburg urging residents to take cover. According to the NWS, threats of severe weather for southeastern Mississippi were in place until 7 a.m.
The city of Hattiesburg reported that firefighters and police were going door to door to rescue victims. A local fire station and the campus of William Carey University were among the buildings damaged in the tornado. The Hattiesburg campus of the university is closed until further notice.
Damage was also reported in nearby Petal, Mississippi. An emergency assistance line has been set up for those in the Hattiesburg area along with storm shelters.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree signed an emergency declaration for the city due to the tornado. The Mississippi office of emergency management reported that local officials have confirmed four deaths and 20 injuries from the cyclone, all in Hattiesburg. Damage to homes and other buildings was also reported in at least four counties.