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Lincoln University campus closed early after tornado damage

Lincoln University campus closed early after tornado damage

LU president's home suffers a hit

May 24th, 2019 by Bob Watson in Local News
Mark Wilson/News Tribune Workers look over the President's House while the Lafayette Street off ramp is barricaded to traffic.

Lincoln University closed its campus early Thursday morning and, because of the holiday weekend, won't reopen until Tuesday.

University Relations Director Misty Young said school officials were assessing damage on the campus, but the most extensive damage appeared to be at the President's House, 601 Jackson St., which originally was built in 1916 by Hugh and Bessie Stephens, and was bought by Lincoln in 1965.

The state Transportation Department closed both lanes of eastbound U.S. 50/63 for about two hours Thursday afternoon — between Monroe Street and Clark Avenue — so debris from the damaged home could be removed.

Officials feared the debris could fall on the Expressway.

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President Jerald Woolfolk was in the home when the storm hit Wednesday night and, Young reported, "did take shelter in the basement and was not injured."

Young said it's too soon to determine how much damage the storm caused to the home, "but the historic home is uninhabitable at this time."

She said LU's main campus suffered tornado damage "to a few doors and windows," and there was "a great amount of tree limbs and other debris."

Young said work crews were working Thursday to "clear away the smaller limbs and debris," while the larger limbs "will be moved early next week."

Young also said: "The university appreciates the outpouring of concern, and offers for assistance. This is a wonderful community, and we will get through this tragedy together."