STARKVILLE, Miss.—Responding to a request for assistance from the town of Louisville, Mississippi State University sent MSU personnel and equipment to help in the clean-up of the neighboring community after it took a direct hit from tornadoes that ravaged central and northern Mississippi in the late afternoon and early evening hours of Monday April 28. MSU Extension Service personnel have also been deployed.
After discussions with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Gov. Phil Bryant, MSU President Mark E. Keenum said 17 MSU Campus Operations personnel and two MSU staffers skilled in damage assessment departed the MSU Starkville campus this morning [April 29]. Keenum said the MSU personnel were equipped with chain saws, generators, a portable light tower, a truck and trailer, and fuel and maintenance supplies necessary to be “self-sufficient.”
Mississippi State responded in a similar way in 2011 when the town of Smithville was leveled and extensive damage was caused in Chickasaw and Webster counties. During that same storm, MSU provided assistance to the University of Alabama and Tuscaloosa. More recently, the university responded to the direct hit that the University of Southern Mississippi and the city of Hattiesburg took from a tornado in February of last year.
Keenum said of clean-up efforts, “I’m glad we can be of help and share some of the expertise we have on our campus with our surrounding communities during this recovery effort. Terrible things like this bring out the best in people, and we have campus operations crew members and Extension personnel who can be of service to those in need.”