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Tornado Rips Through Hattiesburg, MS in the Pre-Dawn Hours of Saturday Morning

At least four dead in Hattiesburg in the wake of a powerful tornado that struck the small Mississippi community before the sun came up Saturday morning.

The Storm

The supercell thunderstorm that produced the powerful tornado started showing signs of intensification on the Louisiana, Mississippi border in the early hours of Saturday morning. This long-track storm first became tornado warned Southwest of Hattiesburg, but as the cell approached the city of some 50,000 people the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area. At 3:56 AM the warning was issued for Lamar, Forrest and Perry Counties– the area surrounding Hattiesburg. Minutes later the powerful tornado ripped through the Mississippi community.

The cell continued to produce a strong rotation signature on the radar as it tracked Northeast through Wayne County and into Alabama. This radar indicated tornado prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) for the cell as it continued it’s movement away from Hattiesburg.

Tornado Damage

Tornado damage coming out of Hattiesburg, MS this morning as severe storms continue to move through the deep south.

Posted by WeatherNation on Saturday, January 21, 2017

On the Scence

  • Meteorologist Brett Adair
    • In Hattiesburg, MS as the storm hit. Reports of blinding rain, truck-moving wind, and widespread damage soon after the storm moved out.
  • Brandon Clement
    • Followed the tornadic cell from Louisiana to Hattiesburg. Arrived shortly after the tornado moved out.
    • Reports of widespread damage.
    • Used vehicle lights to assist emergency officials with rescue efforts.
  • Meteorologist Logan Poole
    • Drove into Hattiesburg soon after the tornado moved out.
    • Reports of impassable roadways from both debris and flooding.
    • Rushed people to the hospital in need of medical attention.

Reported Damage

Reports following the storm show significant damage in the area.
Images show damage to homes, trees, power lines, cars and even a University in the area.

Here is just some of what we’ve seen so far this morning on social media:

https://twitter.com/_Chel_SEE/status/822759715511930881

Stay with us here at Weather Nation while we continue to track the threat of severe weather this weekend.

– Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

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