As authorities assess the damage caused by an overnight tornado that ripped through seven Mississippi counties, injuring dozens and tearing buildings apart, Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency — while power outages and a steady rain continued on Monday.
"It's definitely in the dozens," Mississippi Emergency Management spokesman Greg Flynn said of the total number of residents injured by the twisters. He added no deaths had been reported after the "at least a mile-wide" tornado touched down in Hattiesburg on Sunday evening. Two people hospitalized in Lamar County suffered critical injuries, according to Reuters.
Fortunately, most University of Southern Mississippi students were off campus for the Mardi Gras holiday when the twister severely damaged several buildings there, including a performing arts center and an alumni house.