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April 29, 2011 1:13 PM

Deadly Alabama Tornado Skirts Law School but Destroys Student, Faculty Homes

Posted by Irene Plagianos

The monster tornado that slammed much of Tuscaloosa on Wednesday swirled past the University of Alabama Law School, and left the law school building and its 510 students unharmed, sibling publication the National Law Journal reports. But, students, administrators, and faculty are still helping each other cope with the destruction of homes, cars, and other personal property.

When tornado sirens began blaring at the university, the first day of final exams, many students were busy studying in the school library. Administrators moved them into interior hallways. Those with a window view could see debris whirling outside. “It just missed us,” said Will Booher, a 2L. “I’ve been in tornado weather before, but I’ve never had that close of a call. I was scared.” A video shot from the school, and posted online, captured the fast-moving funnel cloud barreling towards the school. But the school building somehow wasn't hit.

Soon after the close-call, students and administrators began organizing to help each other. A number of students stayed in the school overnight because their homes had been destroyed, or because roads were closed. If they had space, students and faculty took in displaced classmates--while the Student Bar Association headed to a nearby gas station to buy snacks for stranded students.

"It will take a day or two, but hopefully we'll have things back in order soon," dean Kenneth Randall told the NLJ. "We've kept the school open 24/7, and we're providing food. Our faculty have offered places to stay. We're all making the best of things."

And students will need to get back to studying--finals start up again on Monday.

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