Late on Wednesday night, I sat in my basement and anxiously stared at bright splotches moving across my computer screen and hoped storm paths angled a few degrees north. Five hours to the west, my parents and three yellow labs huddled in a basement as tornado siren howled several blocks away.
Today, I call Indianapolis home, but I was born and raised in Columbia, and the notion that I’d learn via Twitter that a tornado that reportedly touched down near Midway cut through it like a scythe was, well, not good.
Fortunately, Boone County was spared.
The same can’t be said of our friends 30 minutes away in Jefferson City. A twister — rated an EF3 and packing winds of 160 mph — angled its way northeast from the outskirts of Eldon. Around midnight, it plowed into the capital’s southeast side, injuring 25 residents and damaging more than 70 buildings.
Cleanup efforts have started in earnest around the city of 40,000, and the University of Missouri has tried to fill the breach. On Thursday, MU announced it would offer temporary housing for impacted employees, students and their families as well as those connected to Lincoln University who have been displaced.
Meanwhile, Mizzou’s baseball team used its downtime to lend hands to help the recovery.
On Friday, the Tigers joined with 100 volunteers to clear debris at the headquarters for Special Olympics of Missouri’s Training for Life Campus. The facility was relatively new, but thankfully, there were no injuries as a result of the storm. But as you can see, the building sustained quite a wallop.
Second week at my new job and our campus gets hit by a tornado. No one was hurt,but this beautiful new facility did suffer damage.@SOMissouri will rebuild! #SpecialOlympicsMissouri pic.twitter.com/3pXUbtJqiy— Brian Neuner (@Bnoon50) May 23, 2019
This isn’t the first time Mizzou athletics has tried to help stand a battered town back up. Its assistance in the wake of a massive tornado that struck Joplin eight years ago is a prime example. I also feel reasonably confident other programs will try to chip in when possible along the way.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Entering the weekend, the forecast for baseball’s chances on Selection Monday remains a moving target. Baseball America has the Tigers in the field, while D1Baseball has MU as the first team left on the stoop. It’s likely there will be an update today taking into Friday’s results.
- Obviously, some will think it gauche to be pleased with good news for a certain school to the west, but Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star wrote that forward Silvio De Sousa’s reinstatement is a sign the NCAA might apply common sense in handling MU’s appeal.
- Dave Matter of the Post-Dispatch caught up with former defensive end Jordan Harold about the bargain he offered to the Carolina Panthers earlier this week.
- The athletic department also lifted the interim tag and named Andrew Grevers swimming and diving coach, reassigning Greg Rhodenbaugh to an administrative role. Rhodenbaugh had been on paid leave after MU launched a Title IX investigation last fall related to his treatment of female swimmers.
- Discus thrower Gabi Jacobs sewed up a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Track and Field Championships at the West Preliminary Meet. The two-time All-American finished fourth a throw of 188 feet, 8 inches.