The funnel cloud that touched down in Lamar County inflicted damage on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi and the Oak Grove High school campus, the Hattiesburg American reported.
The Biloxi Sun Herald reported National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne Culin confirmed the touchdown in northern Lamar County and that by 5:40 p.m. EST it had moved into Forrest County.
She said the twister took down power lines and flung debris as it made its way through the two counties.
The Biloxi newspaper said several businesses and buildings were extensively damaged, including the Ogletree Alumni House on the Southern Mississippi campus.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]