Restoration work continues six months after tornado hits Camp Binachi in Meridian

Bianca Moorman/The Meridian Star

Ken Kercheval, executive and CEO of the Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of Americ, describes damage at Camp Binachi, which was hit by a tornado in February. 

Six months after a 110-foot tree fell on Camp Binachi, the Choctaw Area Council of The Boy Scouts of America continues to clean up the camp. 

In February, an E-F2 tornado tore through Meridian and Lauderdale County, causing damage to the camp.

Ken Kercheval, the scout executive and CEO of the Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said it took about four weeks to remove downed trees from the property and the camp's dining hall.

“It did a lot of damage mainly to this building," Kercheval said of the dining hall, where a massive tree fell through the main roof. "We lost a lot of trees on the camp property and a couple of other buildings.” 

For the last month, workers have been busy repairing damage to the hall, which was built in 1972. The roof is being replaced, and new doors will be installed once the roof is fixed. 

The repair process was slow at first, because some of the materials had to be shipped from Washington, Kercheval said. But over the past few weeks, there has been significant progress.

Kercheval said the goal is to restore the dining hall to what it looked like before the tornado.

“This is where you come and fellowship and meet all the other scouts and the troops,” he said. “This dining hall has a lot of memories.”

Restoration work continues six months after tornado hits Camp Binachi in Meridian

Bianca Moorman/The Meridian Star

In February, an E-F2 tornado tore through Meridian and Lauderdale County, causing damage to Camp Binachi.

With the tornado damage and the COVID-19 pandemic, the camp remains closed for the summer, but Kercheval hopes to reopen it once repairs are complete in the fall. 

The work is being paid for with money from community donations and the agency's operational budget. 

The agency is accepting donations, Kercheval said. For more information, call 601-693-6757.

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