My heart goes out to people who experienced losses when an EF-4 tornado touched down in the early morning hours of March 3.
But as is the case with all tragic events, there are also things for which we can be thankful. Those in the poultry industry are among those, as few losses were reported.
The only meaningful loss I’ve learned of for the poultry sector occurred when three buildings on the Tennessee State University (TSU) farm in Nashville were destroyed by the storm.
Fortunately, no people were injured when the twister hit the farm, located away from the main campus, and students were on spring break when the storm hit. However, TSU agriculture officials said two calves were killed and several goats injured, according to a press release from the university.
And, according to a tweet from the Tennessee Poultry Association (TPA), one of the buildings destroyed was a poultry research house. However, the association said there were only about 50 birds inside, and they were safely moved to another building.
TSU ag professor Richard Browning said the No. 1 priority now is the welfare of the animals at the university farm.
“Right now, we’re trying to make sure the animals are sheltered, secured fence-wise, and that they have water and feed,” Brown said in the TSU press release.
While the majority of the storm’s damage was sustained at the farm, university officials said there were some buildings and apartments on the campus sustained some damage, such as ripped off siding and rooftops. There were also issues with downed power lines, uprooted trees and debris around campus. Some vehicles were also damaged.
Preliminary damage estimates at the university exceeds $20 million, but TSU officials are is working with state agriculture officials, as well as the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Board of Regents, to do a more thorough assessment. Gov. Bill Lee had already surveyed the storm damage at the university.
Elsewhere in Tennessee
TPA, also via Twitter, stated that its staff members and their families “are all good.” The association added, ”the complexes and personnel are being reported to us as all good.”
Also, no problems were reported from the Annual Meat Conference, which was being held in Nashville at the time the storm hit.