The twister traveled down one of Hattiesburg's main streets and mangled homes, commercial buildings and structures on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. Emergency officials said at least 10 people were injured in surrounding Forrest County and three were hurt to the west in Marion County, but they weren't aware of any deaths.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said it appears that a single tornado caused the damage in those two counties and Lamar County. Hundreds of homes are damaged in Forrest County, along with a couple dozen in the other two. Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency.
Flynn said the sheer scope of the damage was slowing their assessment.
"The problem is, it was so strong that there's so much debris that there's a lot of areas they haven't been able to get to yet," he said.