Union University students recall terrifying night - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Union University students recall terrifying night

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The light of day shows astounding damage at Union University.

Every building was damaged but one. Some of them are not there anymore.

Cars were thrown around like toys. Some inside the dorms and buildings and some on top of each other. 

It is hard to imagine students got out of it alive.

Student Garnett Montague road out the storm inside a dorm room. When he realized he was okay, he had other concerns.

"The scariest part of the whole thing was when it all calmed down and when you hadn't seen all of your friends. You hadn't found people who lived close to you," Montague said.

Montague said he helped pull people out of the rubble.

Now he is walking around in shorts on a very cold and windy day because he only has the clothes on his back.

Students are not being allowed back inside the dorms because of fears the buildings might collapse.

Montague's parents showed up to look at the damage.

 "It's unbelievable. Tornados just never cease to amaze me. The devastation they can cause its unbelievable," Tim Montague said.

Other students like Tyler Litton tried to find their cars.

"It was parked over there. I guess it just kind of took flight," Litton said. "Very sobering keeps you down to earth I guess."

Students are not being allowed inside the dorms because they might collapse..but they are trying to salvage what they can from their cars.  William Boyd on the golf team did find his clubs...now he's wondering if he'll be able to graduate.

"I've already got a job set up for when I graduate so I hope I graduate on time," Boyd said.  

Classes are supposed to resume in two weeks even though its not clear how that can happen. The school estimates close to $50 million in damage here. 

A team from the National Weather Service got a first hand look at the damage.

"We had a tornado come through here last night. We were just completing our damage survey and our rating for this is an enhanced fugita scale four which is  a violent tornado. Our estimated winds are at 170 miles per hours," Richard Okulski of the National Weather Service said.

Richard Okulski says with those winds and this damage, it is amazing no one was killed here at Union University.


Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.

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