Thursday, February 07, 2008

Recovering From Tornado -- Union University

It has been a trying couple of days. A tornado struck Madison County Tuesday night, the fourth one in the last 9 years. This one decimated my alma mater, Union Univeristy. Most of the student housing was completely destroyed and other buildings on campus sustained significant damage. Dr. Dockery, President of Union University, estimates the damage to be in excess of $40,000,000.00. Miraculously no one was killed on campus. There were two deaths in another part of the county. And there are two Union students still in critical care at a local hospital. This morning's newspaper has numerous pictures of the damage. Local TV stations from Memphis and Nashville have been on the scene as has national reporters with NBC, FOX and others.

After the tornado struck Tuesday night, all of the kids had to go somewhere. My family and I hosted 7 traumatized girls; the last 2 left this morning. People in the community opened their homes to the 1200 students who suddenly became homeless. Many of them have now returned to their homes, waiting on what will happen next. Classes will not resume until at least February 18. The academic facilities may be operational to some extent by then but only about 20% of student housing will be habitable by then. The univeristy leadership has numerous, difficult decisions in front of them. If you would like to keep track of posting about this emergency you can follow this link.

It has been a trying time. Please keep Union University, its leadership, faculty, staff and students in your prayers. They will need it for a long time to come.


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