We are saddened to report a tornado hit Lockett last night, near Vernon. Unfortunately, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon and Texas A&M AgriLife Foundation Seed were both in the tornado’s path and damage has been confirmed at both sites. After a preliminary inspection, the Chillicothe Research Station, Smith-Walker Research Unit and Organic Research Station did not sustain major damage.
We are thankful that our employees remain physically unharmed.
This morning, faculty and staff from Texas A&M AgriLife groups across the Vernon area are working with local first responders and community volunteers to assess damage, salvage plants, secure equipment and begin clean-up efforts.
The preliminary assessments from the Vernon Center report damage to infrastructure and buildings, including but not limited to greenhouses, metal buildings, vehicles and peanut wagons. After initial inspections, much of the Center’s equipment appears to be intact, including the peanut sheller, combine, seed and crop storage containers, and wheat cleaner.
Texas A&M AgriLife is moving quickly to assess the full extent of the damage and secure the remaining technology and equipment before nightfall. We will continue to keep you updated on the recovery efforts as well as any related operational impacts.
Mark A. Hussey
Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean, Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service