A tornado hit the city of Alto on April 13, resulting in significant damage of the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. The tornado resulted in one fatality and left several critically injured; the site itself was met with immense damage. The damage sustained was discussed in a letter from the executive director of the Texas Historical Commission, Mark Wolfe.
“Roughly 50 percent of the visitors center building was demolished by the storm. We are working to obtain a structural assessment of what remains.... The Grass House is gone. Some interpretive signage on the site grounds is intact, but some was lost.
“The site’s guest house suffered minor damage. Conditions of the utility buildings across the road range from demolished to mostly
intact. The demolished structures were primarily garage space for tractors. Those vehicles appeared to be okay, just inaccessible. The site managers’ house was slightly damaged.”
The damage done was clearly significant and will require countless of hours of dedication from community members to help rebuild what was lost.
Luckily, many considerate SFA students, organizations and athletes are taking action to help the Alto community clean the site and remove the debris left over from the storm.
To make sure that these students would be able to aid the community in such an extreme way, head football coach Colby Carthel even canceled a football practice so the players could go and help out. These acts of selflessness are prime examples of students emulating The SFA Way in the community.
Helping rebuild isn’t the only way that the SFA Athletics department has helped Alto community, as they also allowed the baseball team to play a recent game on our turf.
This positive demonstration of initiative shows just how compassionate and influential SFA’s Lumberjacks are, on and off the field, in and out of the classroom. Despite the Big Event being canceled this year due to a severe thunderstorm warning, the student members are still reaching out to help out the community in a bigger way than they would have hoped.
During this time of mourning for the loss of a life, injuries and the destruction of a historic site, it is inspiring that the community is able to come together. With so many painful things happening in the world, it is a positive reassurance to see selfless people working as hard as they can to help others.
This is also not the first time that SFA students have helped out any way that they could, as this current act of selflessness relates closely to when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. During the hurricane clean-ups, students and teachers took a trip to Houston to help clean up the damage and go out on rescue missions. During this time, students on campus donated blood to the efforts, as well and set up fundraisers to send donations to people in need.
SFA truly is no stranger to helping the community. This is not just students having to go and clean up around the community one weekend; it’s students volunteering their free time to the community. This is SFA wanting to help just because we know it will benefit the greater good.
The compassion students are exhibiting should be commended and encouraged for others to pick up the torch the next time a community is in need.