NEW ORLEANS - Emergency officials say an apparent tornado has caused significant damage in Hattiesburg, Miss., after passing along a main road.
Forrest County Fire Coordinator Chip Brown says there is major damage in Hattiesburg and Petal, including on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
University website said a state of emergency had been declared on campus. There were no reports of injuries, but damage was confirmed to Jazz Station, Mannoni Performing Arts Center, Ogletree Alumni House and Elam Arms.
Brown said the damage was still being evaluated, but that the storm passed along a main Hattiesburg thoroughfare.
The storm overturned and damaged vehicles and threw debris around parts of the campus.
Pictures posted on Facebook by WDAM in Hattiesburg showed rows of trees flattened in the Oak Grove area and damage to commercial buildings.
To the west, Marion County emergency director Aaron Greer says three injuries have been reported in the community of Pickwick, about seven miles south of Columbia. He says two people were taken to hospitals, but the third didn't have the injury examined.
Greer says one mobile home was destroyed, three other structures have major damage and several have minor damage.
National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne Culin 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.