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.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:01:35 GMT
Who wouldn't feel sorry for a man that stands in front of you, nearly in tears, and talks about how his wife died eight months ago during labor.More >>
Who wouldn't feel sorry for a man that stands in front of you, nearly in tears, and talks about how his wife died eight months ago during labor, his mother just died, and now he is a single father raising a newborn all alone.More >>
Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:27:00 GMT
A Jackson Prep football player hospitalized following Friday night's game has died. Walker Wilbanks was transported Friday to the hospital during the second half of the school's home football game againstMore >>
Pressler says Walker's death was an "unfortunate freak event" revolving around the balance of sodium and water in the body. He says it had no reflection of being over or underhydrated.
Friday, August 29 2014 3:03 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:03:11 GMT
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating a double homicide in Claiborne County and is looking for a Pattison manInvestigators want to talk to 32-year-old Dennis McCay of 4058 Barland Road,More >>
The grisly discovery of two bodies in Claiborne County has authorities working overdrive to find whoever's responsible. They're hopeful a person of interest, who last saw the two victims alive, can shed light on this case. More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:36:11 GMT
(WMC) – A protest is going on at Rosa Fort High School in Tunica, Mississippi where people are upset over the firing of a principal. There are more than 100 people marching from the school to the superintendent'sMore >>
More than 100 students are protesting the dismissal of their principal by walking out of school. More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201