- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on recovery from severe weather in Mississippi (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

William Carey University says it will use online systems as much as possible to finish winter trimester classes and to teach students during the spring trimester.

The school’s Hattiesburg campus was heavily damaged by Saturday’s tornado in south Mississippi, leading officials to send home 800 students who live on campus and call off classes on Monday for the 3,200 students who study there.

Spokeswoman Mia Overton told The Associated Press Monday that William Carey’s medical school is likely to offer classes in a former nursing building recently vacated by the University of Southern Mississippi. USM, which was hit by a 2013 tornado, has pledged support to William Carey.

Overton says the Baptist school is trying to find places for other classes that require laboratory work or in-person meetings.

School officials are trying to find temporary housing for about 150 students from foreign countries or faraway states, and Overton says they hope to reopen four lightly damaged dorms within 30 days. Some international students are now staying at USM, and others could stay at the National Guard’s Camp Shelby.


4 p.m.

Gov. Phil Bryant says the Federal Emergency Management Agency is promising quick consideration of a federal disaster declaration, following Saturday’s tornado in south Mississippi.

Bryant said in a Monday news conference in Hattiesburg that new U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged quick action.

The Republican governor says Kelly promised him that FEMA would send surveyors starting Wednesday to sample the damage determinations made locally. Bryant, though, says FEMA won’t have to entirely repeat the survey.

Mississippi wants FEMA to declare the state eligible for aid to governments and individuals. The state has to show $4.2 million in damage to public facilities to win a declaration for government aid. The state has to show 250 homes destroyed or with major damage to win an individual declaration. State officials say more than 450 homes in Forrest and Lamar counties suffered major damage or were destroyed.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Smithson says individuals could get up to $33,000 in aid apiece under a federal declaration.


2:45 p.m.

A tornado that tore a path across south Mississippi on Saturday damaged or destroyed more than 1,100 homes.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reported Monday that in Forrest County alone, 411 homes were destroyed or suffered major damage Saturday, while 588 saw minor damage. In Lamar County, the twister destroyed or did major damage to 43 homes and minor damage to 52 homes. In Perry County, 10 homes were damaged.

Assessments show other storms damaged structures in Franklin, Jones, Lauderdale, Pike and Wilkinson counties.

Damage assessments continue, part of the process of seeking a federal disaster declaration.

Recovery efforts continue Monday. Mississippi Power Co. and Dixie Electric Power Association report that the number of customers without power has fallen to about 1,000.

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