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HATTIESBURG, Ms. - Thousands of Mississippi families are digging out Monday from a strong tornado that moved through the Hattiesburg area Sunday night.

It cut a path of destruction through nine counties, damaging six buildings on the University of Southern Mississippi campus, particularly the alumni hall.

The damage stretches across 75 miles of southern Mississippi.

Trees and power lines were downed, and a state of emergency was declared in the counties that sustained damage during the twister.

The National Weather Service said it was either a level two or level three tornado that touched down as a severe line of thundershowers moved through the area.

Emergency managers said so far they know of damage to 200 homes and buildings and 100 apartments.

Governor Phil Bryant toured the damage Monday morning.

'We currently believe some 4,300 customers are currently without electricity, 97 poles were damaged, broken or destroyed, so those will be replaced. But, the most important part are those who suffered some injuries. We are honored and proud to say we have no fatalities,' Bryant said.

Emergency managers said families received about 30 minutes notice about a possible tornado in the area and they believe that saved lives.

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