Significant storm damage in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - An apparent tornado has passed through the heart of Hattiesburg as part of a wave of severe storms that have caused injuries and significant damage.

A Forrest County fire official says there's major damage in Hattiesburg and to the northeast in Petal, including on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. He can't confirm injuries.

The university says several buildings have been damaged but no injuries reported. Campus police have declared a state of emergency and asked anyone not on campus to stay away.

Pictures posted on Facebook by WDAM in Hattiesburg show rows of trees flattened in the Oak Grove area and damage to commercial buildings.

The emergency director in Marion County says three injuries have been reported in the community of Pickwick, about seven miles south of Columbia.

The National Weather Service says there have also been reports of injuries in Marion County.

Nasty weather has settled in on much of Louisiana and Mississippi, including tornado or flash flood watches.

The National Weather Service says bad weather is likely to stretch into Fat Tuesday in southeast Louisiana. Jefferson Parish has canceled a Monday night parade.

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