Home > Life at Union > february 5 gives way to september 8

february 5 gives way to september 8

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008.  

I remember when the clock rolled over and struck 7 pm.  I remember because I was sitting in the closet of our little house, watching the storm clouds moving towards Jackson as they were converted into ominous colors by the channel 7 radar equipment.  

I remember because I know that there were two options: 1) the storm, with its deadly hook protruding from the southern part of the system, would continue its present course along I-40 and put our little home in grave danger; or 2) the hook would make its move north of the highway and head directly to Union, with its 1400 on-campus students.

5 minutes later: “A tornado has touched down at Oil Well & Pleasant Plains … its official, Union has been hit.”

Beth and I were out the door, with me cutting my hand on our storm door, driving down the unlit road as soon as we heard the news.

Five minutes later we pulled up on campus.  

Two minutes later I thought to myself, “You will be pulling bodies out of dorms and cars tonight.”

Seven hours later I was shocked with the news: “No casualties. 40 hospitalized. 7 in critical condition.”

 

standing on top of what used to be the second floor of Wingo

standing on top of what used to be the second floor of Wingo

Thus began several weeks of intense labor, pulling student belongings out of their dorms, sometimes in very dangerous circumstances.  (I knocked a hole in my hard hat when I crashed my head into a steel beam and went into several rooms which – I later realized – had no walls supporting them from below).

 

I could not have imagined at that time, standing in the midst of the rubble, that 7 months later Union would be transformed into what it has become today.

And, not only is it true that Union has been rebuilt, but in the mean time, only two weeks of school were missed.  The class of 2008 graduated on time and the class of 2012 move in to an entirely brand new campus.

Check out the before & after:

 

26 million tons of rubble and 14 new buildings later...

26 million tons of rubble and 14 new buildings later...

Look for more “post tornado” thoughts to come.

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Categories: Life at Union Tags: , , ,
  1. amber
    September 15, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    this gave me chills. God is SO good. Even throughout the storms of life He still shines. He protects. Saves. Strengthens. Everything that happened that night has been used for the glory of Him!

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