Petal + Hattiesburg Tornado Relief

This past Saturday, a lot of people woke up just like any other day – not realizing the devastation that happened just an hour away.

We anticipated severe weather, but our neighbors in Petal and Hattiesburg suffered some pretty devastating damage from tornadoes. The William Carey University in Hattiesburg was almost destroyed! I sat there in awe, as I read the facts out loud:

  • Four people were killed in Hattiesburg.
  • Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency Saturday afternoon, after a press conference.
  • Mayor Johnny DuPree signed an emergency declaration for Hattiesburg.
  • Hattiesburg firefighters and police officers are going door to door to rescue tornado victims.
  • The state’s Emergency Management Agency said the tornado damaged buildings in Forrest, Lamar, and Perry counties.
  • Search and rescue teams were dispatched to assist emergency officials in Hattiesburg.
  • Interstate 59 N is closed due to debris, and is expected to take several weeks to clean up.
  • William Carey University in Hattiesburg sustained severe damage to their dorms and most of their other buildings, and several injuries have been reported on campus.
  • Students are being escorted from campus, and the university is making arrangements for students who are unable to go home.
  • William Carey University will be closed until further notice.
  • Mississippi Power says 9,100 customers without power.
  • Dixie Electric Power says 5,000 of their customers are without power.

I texted out Program Director to see if there was anything we could do to aid in the relief efforts, and he said he would find out. A couple hours later, we got the thumbs up to go ahead with our efforts – but we were on a time crunch.

It’s nearing the end of the day on Saturday, and it’s time to start planning! We’ve got to organize publicity, marketing, and a location – but anything is possible with the right kind of mindset!

Here’s how it went!

95.3 The Gorilla Collects Donations

Special thanks to our listeners, for helping us collect enough donations to fill the entire Gorilla truck! It was so lovely meeting each and every one of you, and your compassion and dedication to your neighbors was enough to melt the coldest of hearts!

All donations were driven up to Hattiesburg, MS on Tuesday to the Salvation Army of Hattiesburg, by Destine and Jessi Paige!

We’d like to add a special thanks to:

    1733 E Pass Road
    Reporter for WLOX
    Reporter for WXXV/Fox 25
    Salvation Army
    For sharing and supporting our posts, and dropping off your donations!

For all of the photos from our collection and delivery, check us out on Instagram!