Storm Damage, Classic Tailgate Continues

(Memphis) Tailgating for the Southern Heritage Classic was back in full swing Saturday morning after a storm blew through the area Friday night.

Many tailgaters said they were warned that the storm was coming by Memphis Police and they were able to prepare.

“We took the tents down packed up everything, covered it up and sat in the truck and we rode it out,” said Randy Bowen from Cummings Street Baptist Church. They didn’t wait until morning, but just until the storm passed and set back up late Friday night.

A few tents around the area were broken and others large tents had to be put up again by professional companies.

There was also concern that the Liberty Bowl’s brand new FedEx donated $2.5 million HD Jumbotron was damaged by lighting after some saw sparks coming from the area Friday.

Liberty Bowl general manager Mollie Sammon said it was a transformer behind the Jumbotron that blew and that is what created the sparks. She said crews tested the Jumbotron early Saturday and they were “all set”.

Wet grass created by the storm also created parking problems. The grassy area next to Tiger Lane where thousands parked was set to open at 8 Saturday morning. The opening was delayed until 11 and then 1:30 when organizers felt the grass was dry enough.