Monday, February 11, 2013

Update from Southern Miss

Here is an emailed update I just received from campus.

Golden Eagle Friends – Tough day/night across Hattiesburg and Oak Grove…No reported loss of life and we are thankful at the start of another day.  Moderate damage to numerous on-campus buildings (Marsh Hall and Performing Arts Center roof damage; Southern Hall, McLemore Hall, McCain Library and Administration Buildings varying degrees of damage).  The  Jazz Building and Ogletree House severely damaged.  On-Campus Resident Halls appear to be in good shape and assessments continue.  Hardy Street across campus from Elam Arms to the University main entrance in bad shape.  No electrical power issues across campus. 

We completed an Athletics Facility assessment last night and will follow-up this morning…no damages identified to date.  Our baseball, football and basketball coaches are making contact with their counterparts at Oak Grove High School to see where we can be of assistance (significant Athletics Facility damages at Oak Grove HS).    

We successfully accounted for our coaches, staff and Student-Athletes and I appreciate the work of our Athletics Department leaders in accomplishing this difficult task last night.  Two of our employees experienced serious damage to their homes and we are working closely to take care of their respective needs. 

Dr. Denis Wisenburg (University Provost), Chief Hopkins (Campus Police) and Chris Crenshaw (Physical Plant) are to be commended for their leadership and organizational skills immediately following the tornado and throughout the night…and as we initiate repair/clean-up.  Governor Bryant to conduct a press conference (on-campus) this morning and Dr Bennett (recently appointed USM President) is scheduled to be on-campus this morning along with Dr. Lucas.

We appreciate your prayers and willingness to roll up your sleeves and help.  Damage assessment teams are hard at work along with clean-up teams and folks from all walks of life caring for others.  Hattiesburg and USM are strong as one and will repair the damage. 

Southern Miss and Oak Grove High School are getting much of the media attention; however, the storm rocked through Marion and Jones Counties as well.  Hattiesburg High took a beating.  Plus, the City of Petal is heavily damaged.  So much to do.  

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