March 22, 2018
Southern Torch (3791 articles)


PHOTO: After devastating tornadoes ravaged the university, the Northeast corner of Alabama is uniting to help rebuild this college town. (All photos courtesy of DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office)

By Marla Jones, Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — After a set of devastating storms on Monday night, Jacksonville State University is gearing up to rebuild their broken facilities, residence halls, and one of the biggest apartment complexes in the city.

According to Jacksonville State University’s statement: JSU was hit by an EF-3 tornado last night, March 19th, and had winds of up to 135 mph. At this time the city of Jacksonville has issued a curfew that will begin at 7 p.m. The entire JSU campus is off-limits, and we are asking that all people stay off the roads at this time.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office deputies were sent to Calhoun County to assist in recovery efforts.

JSU Athletic Director Greg Seitz tweeted about the disaster in waking hours of discovering the damage, “I can confirm we have major roof damage at Pete Mathews Coliseum, but The Pete is not completely destroyed.”

“We are still surveying all of the damage to campus and can confirm major roof damage to Logan Hall and Patterson Hall. Numerous trees and power lines are down. I’m very thankful JSU is on spring break this week and most students are out of town,” he continued.

After the all-clear was given for DeKalb County, deputies and investigators along with the Reserve and Mounted Units of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office were sent to Calhoun County to assist in recovery efforts. The Search and Rescue Unit from Fort Payne City was dispatched as well.

(DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office)

The Sheriff’s Office goes out and assists surrounding Counties when they request our assistance, whether it be due to storms, locating missing persons, or just needing assistance during events such as Talladega races, Fishing Rodeo at Dolphin Island, and Mobile’s Mardi Gras,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris. “Sheriff’s Offices and Municipalities are here to assist each other, that’s what we are here for.”

At the Rainsville City Council meeting held on Tuesday, March 20, Chief Kevin Smith requested permission from the Council to help in any capacity that the department could. The Council approved the measure.

“In 2011, we had a mutual aid agreement with agencies across the state to help in recovery efforts from the devastation of that year’s tornado outbreak,” said Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson. “When we have a natural disaster or other large event, we depend on other sheriff’s offices for help. We are glad to help in any way possible for those in need.”

After experiencing such major trauma in 2011, DeKalb agencies feel the urgency to respond to help a neighbor in need. If you want to know how you can help the “Friendliest Campus in the South,” please go to www.gofundme.com/jsustrong.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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