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North Main Street, East 5th Street closes

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A good portion of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church's property was damaged by the 2013 tornado.

City officials have been concerned with the church's damaged structure for a while, and have now ruled the area to be unsafe and in imminent danger of collapsing.

"The church has been working through its litigation process and insurance process, and the structure: Building B on the campus got to a point where the city had to intervene," said code enforcement manager, Mark Jordan.

The city closed North Main Street and East 5th Street to ensure the safety of citizens.

"One of the things we talked about was the pedestrian traffic including school-aged children. We wouldn't want anyone to be endangered or hurt. So that's what preempted the mayor's team to make this decision to close Main Street," said Fire Marshal, Stephen Mooney.

"The collapse zone is 1.5x the height of the building. So out of an abundance of caution, that's the reason why not only the fence meshing was put up, but the actual barricades were put up because that debris path would actually fall into Main Street and/or 5th Street," said Jordan.

Mooney said there is no exact timetable to how long the roads will be closed.

Jordan said the short-term goal is to demolish Building B of the church. And the long-term goal is to repair the church.



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