The Hattiesburg area continues to clean up after an EF-4 tornado destroyed or damaged at least 800 homes Sunday.
Gov. Phil Bryant announced Wednesday afternoon that FEMA has declared Forrest and Lamar counties disaster areas. President Barack Obama signed the declaration Wednesday and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the two counties.
Disaster assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover.
Multiple buildings on the University of Southern Mississippi campus were also damaged. Officials estimate it will take tens of millions of dollars to make repairs.
The College Board voted unanimously Wednesday to allow Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds to sign contracts and take other actions without board approval to help the 16,000-student school recover.
Most of the damage to the school is expected to be covered by a $500 million insurance policy. The policy carries a $100,000 deductible.
Hundreds of students volunteered to help clean up debris on campus Wednesday. Student organizations, including the school's fraternities and sororities, organized the clean up event. Community members also helped out picking up tree limbs, roofing material and other debris scattered by the twister.
The university's girls soccer team was also seen helping family's clean up in a Hattiesburg neighborhood.
Classes will resume at the university Thursday. The university has asked students to use caution when traveling around campus.
A hotline has been set up for students and parents to call for any kind of assistance. The hotline number is 601-266-5000.
Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.
Friday, July 25 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:19:10 GMT
(WMC) – A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. As a result, the following 12 people were arrested: Preston K. Mitchell, 52, Memphis, Tenn., charged with procuring prostitutionMore >>
A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. Twelve people were arrested.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:04:58 GMT
The victim of a vicious gang rape is warning other women in the metro area. The victim and her attorney talked about the attack exclusively with WLBT. The 35-year-old woman, whose identity we are protecting,More >>
The victim, whose identity we are protecting, said, "He put the gun to my head and told me to take my clothes off. And that's when I couldn't do nothing. I was just standing there crying. And the other dude came from behind the truck. He put one in my side. And they bent me over in my front seat and they started raping me over and over again." More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:53:59 GMT
In April, two local teens were arrested for a heinous crime. 13 year old Remy Harvey, and 16 year old Eddie Devine were charged with carjacking, kidnapping and raping a woman. She was abducted from herMore >>
Now, the victim is taking owners of the apartment she lived in, to court, claiming they failed to provide proper security for residents. More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 1:44 PM EDT2014-07-25 17:44:34 GMT
A Mississippi couple is behind bars after McComb Police found them living with their two children and the children's grandmother in a rented U-Haul truck that was reported stolen out of New Jersey. That'sMore >>
A Mississippi couple is behind bars after McComb Police found them living with their two children and the children's grandmother in a rented U-Haul truck that was reported stolen.More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 12:44 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:44:56 GMT
Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit at a Philadelphia street corner, killing three kids and seriously injuring two women.More >>
Two carjackers who fled after ramming a stolen SUV into a family selling fruit for their church, killing three young siblings, were still on the run Saturday as the reward for their capture topped $100,000.More >>
BRADENTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - People are outraged after a Florida couple was caught having sex on a public beach Sunday afternoon in front of dozens of people including children. Bradenton Beach policeMore >>
People are outraged after a Florida couple was caught having sex on a public beach Sunday afternoon in front of dozens of people including children.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 8:29 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:29:10 GMT
A 35-yea-old woman says she was gang raped at a Jackson gas station and employees did nothing to help her. WLBT has surveillance video from the Shell station on Daniel Lake Boulevard, showing JacksonMore >>
WLBT has surveillance video from the Shell station on Daniel Lake Boulevard, showing Jackson Police after they were called to the scene.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201