2013 tornado

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The Village Green Mall was heavily damaged

The 2013 tornado touched down early evening on Sunday, February 10, 2013 in Marion county and traveled 75 miles northeast through four counties, causing major damage in Hattiesburg and Petal. At least 500 homes and other structures in Lamar and Forrest counties were damaged or destroyed, and 82 injuries were reported, with no fatalities.[1][2][3]

Tornado warnings for the Hattiesburg began as early as 2:22 PM as thunderstorms moved in from the southwest. A couple hours later, at 4:11 PM, the national weather service issued a tornado warning for Marion County after detecting a particularly severe thunderstorm 10 miles south of Pinebur (about 30 miles southwest of West Hattiesburg) moving toward the northeast. At 4:42 a tornado warning was issued for Lamar County and West Hattiesburg after spotters reported seeing a tornado on the ground 24 miles southwest of West Hattiesburg. By now authorities were already receiving reports of damage along the tornado's path. At 4:57 the tornado was about 12 miles southwest of West Hattiesburg moving northeast at 45 mph, and the warning was expanded to include all of Hattiesburg and Petal. Moments later the National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency for Hattiesburg, indicating a very strong tornado strike was imminent.

By 5:15 the tornado was in Hattiesburg, traveling east along the south side of Highway 98. It caused significant damage to Oak Grove High School and other structures. It crossed I-59, and moments later crossed Hardy Street, striking the southern portion of the USM campus, destroying 75 trees and causing about $20 - $30 million in damage to several buildings, particularly the Mannoni Performing Arts Center, the Jazz Station, the Fine Arts Building, and the Ogletree House[4][5]. It continued to the north-northeast, through parts of downtown Hattiesburg where it caused severe damage to Mount Carmel Baptist Church, and eventually moved through Petal.

That night Governor Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency for Forrest, Lamar, Lawrence, and Marion counties.[6]


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