Storms Damages UT West Tennessee Experiment Station (236)

Tornadoes and severe winds Sunday caused about $225,000 in damages at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station in Jackson, it was reported Tuesday.

Dr. James Brown said storms damaged or destroyed four employee homes, three storage buildings and a bridge. Dozens of felled trees across the 620-acre grounds blocked roads and killed power, he said. No serious injuries were reported.

“The damage was substantial, but it could have been much worse,” Brown said. “We’ve got a $4 million office building here that had only minor damages, and no one was badly hurt.

“It’s just a matter of cleaning up and rebuilding everything that was torn down.”

UT agricultural extension leaders are assessing agricultural damage in nearby areas, Brown said. Volunteers from UT branch stations in Milan and Martin are helping the cleanup at Jackson, he said.

Ike Sewell, associate dean at the station, said no research experiments or research facilities were damaged.

“At this time of the year all the crops have been harvested, and there is no livestock at the station,” Sewell said. “Most of the homes and shops were empty at the time the storms struck, so there were no serious injuries. We were lucky.”

The West Tennessee Experiment Station, established in 1907, is one of 11 UT field stations. It includes the West Tennessee Center for Agricultural Research, Extension and Public Service, and several state offices and conference meeting rooms.

Contact:    Mike Bradley (423-974-2225)

                  Margot Emery (423-974-7362)

                  Dr. James Brown (901-424-1643)