Holmes Community College hit hard by severe weather

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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GOODMAN, Miss. (WLBT) - Holmes Community College in Goodman was one of several places across the state damaged by severe weather.

“I haven’t ever been through anything like this, so I can’t even put it into words. It’s my first tornado,” sophomore George Carter said.

Carter stays in one of two dorms at the college that had its roof completely torn off as a result of high winds.

He and a number of others had no other choice but to clear out their rooms and find somewhere else to stay once the conditions calmed down.

“We all knew the storm was coming, but we didn’t think it would be as bad as it was,” he said. “When it came through, the door swung open, and you could see the sky was dark green like the grass. We heard everything coming off the roof, but we thought it was trees.”

The president of the Community College, Jim Haffey, said just about every roof on campus got damaged. The dorms, athletic facilities, and cafeteria were hit the hardest.

“I was riding around campus a little bit, and some of the students weren’t taking it too seriously, and I saw their attitude change,” Haffey said. “It was pretty intense.”

Haffey hopes to have half of the dorms back up and running by next week. Once that happens, he said it’ll open up more space for the out-of-state students and athletes who don’t have family and friends nearby to stay with.

He said a little over 1,000 employees and students evacuated prior to the storms moving in, leaving just about 100 people on campus when conditions were at their peak.

“It was a pretty horrifying experience for those that were still here but, luckily, the alerts went off, they listened to them, they sheltered, and they were able to stay safe,” he said.

Haffey said no injuries were reported and that students will likely either finish out the year virtually or at one of the other campuses.

He added that he’s thankful the storm came through when it did because there’s only about a month left of school, and it’s going to take several months to clean things up and make repairs.

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