Bleachers were lifted up over the arena fence and tumbled 30 feet from where they originally were. The announcers booth was completely destroyed. It's wreckage was blown over 50 feet away.
The National Weather Service investigated the site and concluded that winds between 60 and 65 mph caused the damage. It was not a tornado, but instead a phenomenon called strait-line winds that destroyed the grounds.
The Meridian Lions club will have to pay out-of-pocket for repairs because the structures were not insured. Fortunately, the annual rodeo does not take place until September.
The Lions are accepting help from volunteers to clean the place up. They will meet on Saturday at 10 am.