HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Heavy rain and downed trees can be seen all around Hattiesburg. Many people haven’t been out due to Hurricane Zeta, instead they have been taking precautions.
Santana Barber, who works at USM, said she was thankful the campus closed early on Wednesday.
“I’m just trying to get home to my kids so we can just prepare for the storm,” said Barber.
One USM student said he wasn’t worried for himself, but for his family in Louisiana.
“My family is evacuating I think they’re going further up north maybe even to Mississippi so as long as they are okay, we should be okay,” said student, Mason Butler.
Campus police have been monitoring the storm and said a decision will be made about classes on Thursday.
“We’re hoping that by midnight- 1 a.m. Thursday morning that this is well out of our area and then we can assess and see if there is any damage to our regular schedule tomorrow,” said Campus policeman Rusty Keyes.
Not far from the USM campus, the Forrest County Community Shelter is open.
Flora Mcintrye and her family were the first ones inside of the shelter when it opened Wendesday afternoon.
Space is already set up in the shelter for proper social distancing. Masks are also required to enter.
“When they come to the shelter, they will need to be wearing a mask before they come in the building and if they don’t have one, we will give them one. They will get a COVID test; it only takes 15 minutes to get the test and get the results back. We’re trying to make sure that everyone is safe and clear from COVID here in the shelter,” explained Richard Denakker of Red Cross.
The shelter will be open until it is no longer needed. Emergency Management agency are also prepared to repair power lines and pick up downed trees that may have fallen.