The National Weather Service forecasts severe weather for Mississippi, including all University of Southern Mississippi locations in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast, on Sunday afternoon and evening, April 12, that could include tornadoes, widespread damaging winds of up to 70 mph, heavy rains and golf ball-sized hail. Currently, the Hattiesburg area is under a moderate risk (4 out of 5) for severe weather, while the Gulf Coast is under an enhanced risk (3 out of 5). The greatest threat for tornadoes is north of I-20; however, supercell long track strong tornadoes cannot be ruled out for south Mississippi.
Should severe flooding or a tornado warning impact USM locations, the Eagle Alert emergency communication system will be activated. Please take a moment to check your contact information in the Eagle Alert system at https://www.usm.edu/safety/eagle-alert.
MEMA: What to do in Case of a Tornado Warning
In case of a tornado warning, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recommends the following actions.
If you are at work:
• Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level of the building.
• Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
• Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If you are outdoors:
• If possible, get inside a sturdy building with a concrete foundation.
• If shelter is not available, or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
• Be aware of the potential for flooding.
If you are in a vehicle:
• Never try to out drive a tornado in your vehicle. Tornadoes can change direction very quickly and can lift a vehicle and toss it in the air.
• Get out of the vehicle and take shelter in a nearby building.
• If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the vehicle and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.
If you are in your home:
• Go to the lowest level of the home, an inner hallway, or smaller inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.
• Get away from windows and go to the center of the room. Avoid corners, because they tend to attract debris.
• Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a workbench or heavy table.
Potential Flood Zones on USM Campuses
Severe weather conditions may make some streets on the Hattiesburg campus impassable or hazardous to navigate.
Motorists on the Hattiesburg campus should be aware of potential flood damage to parked vehicles in these areas:
• Pine Haven Drive around Sorority Village
• Montague Boulevard between Kay James Drive and Ross Boulevard
• 10 parking spaces on the south end of Fraternity Drive (west side of the street) at Montague Boulevard
• West 4th Street between Golden Eagle Avenue and Eagle Walk
• Southern Miss Drive between 30th and 31st Avenues
• Ray Guy Way at Century Park South/Spirit Park
• South end of Kay James Drive at Montague Boulevard (next to the DuBard School)
• Trent Lott Center west lot, next to M.M. Roberts Stadium
• Ray Guy Way at Eagle Walk, by the raised crosswalk
• Parking area at the southwest corner of McCarty Hall
Motorists should use caution in these areas during times of heavy rain and should not enter flooded areas.
For more information, contact the University Police Department at 601-266-4986.