Tornado damage on campus

I am breaking out my photography skills for this post. I walked around the Southern Miss campus and snapped a few photos of the damage/clean-up. The photos do not do it much justice, but I tried my best. I used my Sony Cybershot camera to take all the photos except for the last one where I used my iPhone. So, here goes nothing….

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This is a picture of a pile of debris on campus. Unfortunately, there are several piles like this one.

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Tree limbs and sticks litter campus.

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Our brand new fence around campus got all bent out of shape when the tornado struck campus.

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The live oak tree that stood near Southern Hall took a hit and is no more. That particular tree not only provided shade in the hot summer heat, but also provided a place for students to hang their hammocks from the tree limbs and enjoy a nice afternoon.

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This tree took a big hit as well. You can see all the debris from the tree littering the street.

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A friend looks for his car that got damaged in the storm.

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This is in between Southern Hall and McLemore Hall. Mud and tree debris can be found all over campus.

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More debris piles around campus. The clean-up process has begun and slowly, but surely, campus will be restored to its grandeur.

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We found his car. They had towed it to the car compound. You can see it took a pretty big hit on the passenger side. This was one of the most damaged vehicles though. Most of the vehicles had blown out windows, but others had some side damage as well.

I think this was one of the worst storms in the history of Southern Miss. We will rebuild! Other parts of Hattiesburg got severe damage as well, mostly towards the downtown area. My church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, took a big hit and it will take some time to recover. It’s a very sad feeling, but we are a strong community. I want to thank everyone who has come out to show their support by either donating or helping with the clean up. Thanks and SMTTT!

I just survived a tornado…

So I just survived my first ever tornado! Crazy right??? I have never before in my life witnessed a tornado and this thing was massive! Here is a picture of half the tornado taken at T.G.I. Friday’s in Hattiesburg, Miss. That is one of my co-workers, Bethany, in the picture. This thing was massive (later announced as an EF4 tornado)…you can only see half of it because it was moving so fast.

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After I snapped this picture, I went straight to the freezer with the few guests that were there. I was not about to get hit by one. Thankfully, it was on the other side of the highway though.

On my drive back home, I witnessed a bunch of debris on the roads and trees were down. Here are a few of those pictures (sorry they are a little blurry…I was taking them from my car…don’t worry, I was stopped while taking the pictures).

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Here is a tree down on Hardy Street, blocking the left lane.

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Sorry it is so dark, but you can kinda tell that the tree was uprooted completely.

After I witnessed this tree down, I saw that the Jr. Food Mart gas station was destroyed.

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This is the intersection at the gas station. The light posts were completely destroyed, power was out everywhere. This is also right next to the Southern Miss Campus, where I go to school.

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Here is a really blurry one, but it is of the gas station. You can kinda see where the pumps used to be.

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I think this used to be a light post… You can see that it is all bent out of shape from the tornado.

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The “what used to be gas pumps” photo. You can see the fire trucks and police cars are there.

So sorry the pictures are blurry. I was taking them from my iPhone while sitting in my car. But hey, I survived a tornando with no damage done to my apartment complex, or my car, or my work place and lived to tell the tale. I just hope I never have to go through this again. It was scary then and I’m sure it will be scary again. Please just keep Hattiesburg in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

(All images are my own)