Classes resume at Saint Augustine's College following tornado
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RALEIGH- Class was back in session for one Raleigh college Tuesday after a tornado ripped through the campus Saturday. Leaders at Saint Augustine's College say some students are still without power in their dorms as crews work to clean up damage.
The sound of bells on the Saint Aug's campus was a sign class was back in session. The sound of bulldozers meant clean-up continued after Saturday's tornado. Tuesday morning, many students were still left in the dark.
"My dorm, we have no power still,” said junior Michael Jones.
The tornado split trees, tore parts of buildings off, and knocked out power. No one on the campus was seriously hurt. Student's say it's been an adventure in the dorms the last few days.
"People have basically had to use cell phone lights, flash lights, key chain lights, anything we could do to get to our rooms,” Jones said.
Saint Aug's opened a nearby building for students to use, and the cafeteria had power. Campus leaders say crews have worked non-stop to remove debris.
"This area you're looking at now, three days ago, was impassable. We had our first work crews on this campus literally an hour after the storm hit,” said Marc Newman, spokesperson for the college.
Some parents say, that's not good enough, and they don't think classes should have started back.
"For the tuition cost of this campus, I'm appalled and ashamed that they haven't done anything more,” said Lynell Fenner, who has three students at Saint Aug's.
"We have about three weeks left in the semester based on academic integrity to get our students in the classroom, get those seniors, who are going to be conferred degrees, let them get their classwork,” Newman said.
"A lot of people need to graduate, classes are really important right now because we're taking finals,” said senior Richard Boone.
Students say they're making the best of it, and are just glad everyone at Saint Aug's is safe.
"We're just finding ways to survive. I'm actually proud of the students because we made it through this natural disaster,” she said.
College President Dianne Boardley Suber addressed students Tuesday. She wanted students to know the college was doing everything possible to clean up the campus and minimize the inconvenience for students. Suber said if they didn't complete the semester, students would have to make up the course hours.
There's no estimate on the cost of damage to the campus at this time, but representatives from the college say they are working to set up a campaign fund to help pay for repairs.
Progress Energy says they hope to have power back on some time Tuesday afternoon.