Twin tornadoes swept through Jackson, TN at approximately 7:00 pm this evening. Union University, my alma mater, sustained major damage to one-third of the campus according to President David Dockery. Two academic buildings sustained heavy water damage because the roofs were blown off. Two dorms housing nearly 1000 students were nearly destroyed as well. Here’s the report on Union from Baptist Press:
JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–Union University in Jackson, Tenn., sustained heavy tornado damage Tuesday evening at approximately 7 pm when a line of heavy thunderstorms rushed through the area.At 10:20 central, news and information director, Tim Ellsworth, reported that 4 students still were trapped by debris in their dorms. At least four of those students have been rescued. Dorms in both the men’s and women’s areas have been destroyed.
“We currently have no serious injuries that we know of and rescue operations are still continuing,” Ellsworth said. “Many buildings sustained heavy damage.”
“We have moved students to the Stein Mart store north of the campus and parents can pick up their students there,” he said.
The Union University Web site is down and Ellsworth said the school is trying to find an alternate means for posting information. Currently Ellsworth said the school is working on an alternative means of trying to provide parents with information but that power was completely out on campus.
Ellsworth reported that many cars on campus sustained damage. The roof on Jennings Hall was nearly completely gone as well as other buildings having sustained damage.
Classes have been cancelled until February 13 to allow assessment of the damage and impact on operations.
I have some good friends in the Jackson area and on campus at Union. Please pray for the students, faculty, staff, and families as they seek shelter from what I’m told is a second round of storms. Pray that the Lord will keep them safe.