BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University has released a recent statement clarifying its previous release that said a student is among those dead in Bowling Green following an overnight severe tornado outbreak.
WKU President Timothy Caboni originally said that university officials were notified of a man -- who was set to graduate today -- that had died in his off-campus residence due to the severe weather early Saturday morning.
However, in a follow-up Saturday afternoon, University spokesperson Jace Lux said that the Warren County Sheriff's office clarified that it is now believed the fatality is the student's close relative.
"Information is still arriving, but currently WKU is not aware of any fatalities within the WKU student body," Lux said.
Caboni also said that Housing and Residence Life staff verified there were no fatalities or injuries among students living on campus.
"Students, if you have no yet made contact with your loved ones, please take a moment to let them know you are okay," he said.
Emergency crews were working all morning to assess damage to the university's facilities including establishing temporary power, restoring campus networks and phone lines and restarting basic operations.
He said preliminary investigations reveal the storm had spared most of the university's primary structures on campus, but a complete evaluation would take time.
"Our main focus now is making sure that everyone in our campus community is safe," he said in a release.
Commencement was meant to be held on Saturday, but due to the storm's damage, it was postponed until further notice.
"Please take care of yourselves and your friends and spend a little more time with those you love during the holiday break," Caboni said.
He added that residence halls would not close today as planned.
"Take your time," he said.