Storm Clean-up Efforts Ongoing
CLARKSDALE – From downed trees to power outages, Coahoma Community College is still recovering from external and internal damage caused by strong winds during a storm that happened over the month-long Holiday break.
Property located at the southeastern end of CCC’s campus was heavily damaged when winds that reached gusts of 60 to 70 mph swept through the area Dec. 21, snapping down trees and bending several giant light poles near the James E. Miller football stadium. The winds littered debris on the campus, detached fences and completely tore the roof to the stadium’s concession stand off its base. It also heavily damaged the school’s baseball and softball fields, tearing down fences and scoreboards and whisking away the dugout roofs.
Two weeks later, CCC’s Maintenance/Building & Grounds Department is still working diligently to clean up the visible damage, as well as inconspicuous internal damage.
“Although visible damage was evident, the institution is also recovering from internal damage, mostly resulting from the electrical power outage,” said Director of Maintenance Jerone Shaw.
For instance, Shaw said the control software his department relies on was lost due to the outage.
“We’ve been able to recover 99 percent of it, and we’re anticipating recovering the rest. I suspect there may be some other things that were affected by the storm that we may not know about just yet, but we’re keeping our eyes open and working to correct things as they come up.”
In addition to electrical issues, Shaw said the school experienced a minor gas leak that resulted in the campus gas being shut-off for a short period until it was repaired.
“We were very fortunate that the students weren’t on campus and that no one was present in the area that was heavily damaged,” Shaw said.
Shaw reported Tuesday that the majority of the debris clean-up is scheduled to be completed by the end of week.
“We’ve gotten most of the electrical problems resolved. Entergy has restored all of the power to the area that they serve, and Coahoma Electrical has restored over 95 percent of their part. Right now, the field house is still without electrical power.” Shaw said.
“Our Grounds Crew is in the process of cleaning all of the broken trees and branches scattered in the southeast section of campus and near the football field. We hope to be completed before the week is out, weather permitting.”
The school has also hired on a local contractor to clean up the non-tree debris, Shaw reported.
“They started Tuesday clearing debris on the football and baseball fields, and they’re projected to be completed by the end of the week,” Shaw said.
According to Shaw, a full assessment report of the damage from the school’s insurance carrier is still pending an evaluation from a structural engineer, who will evaluate structural damage related to the storm damage, today (Jan. 8).
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