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Tornado Warning Forces College Students To Seek Shelter

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jennifer Lindgren
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DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Property damage to cars may have been the worst of the damage at college campuses in Denton, but a tornado warning also sent students and faculty seeking shelter for their own safety.

Multiple lines of severe storms rolled through Denton on Thursday afternoon.

The first delivered baseball sized hail.  The damage was extensive on the campus parking lots at Texas Woman’s University, where entire windshields were shattered.

Many students emerged from class to find their vehicles covered in dents and broken glass.

“I’m probably going to have to get the entire back window replaced,” said Allison Belding, who covered the gaping holes with tarp and towels.

Kristen Maxwell was in a nearby medical building when the hail came down, shattering the skylights.

“It was crashing hard. Definitely sounded like gunshots,” Maxwell said.

She went outside to find hail had smashed through her rear window, and landed all the way on her front dash.

The first storm wasn’t the last to pack a punch.

Within an hour, tornado warning sirens sounded in Denton. Staff on the campus of TWU rushed students in dormitories down into the basements and stairwells for shelter.

“We literally started running,” said student Thelma Ekezie, who was in her dorm room  at Stark Hall when the warning came over the speaker.

Students remained in shelter for about 45 minutes, until the warning was past Denton.

Many walked out to find the plastic tarps they had laid over their windows, riddled with holes from more hail.

On the campus of UNT, a tree trunk split down the middle out front of West Hall.

Roof shingles and particle board covered a car in the parking lot.  Nearby the vehicle, a utility pole lay on the ground.

Students at UNT were in shelter as well.

“I have never seen a storm like this in Denton before,” said Jiday Oke.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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