Wild weather ripped across North Carolina this weekend, with historic ferocity and tragic results:
North Carolina Emergency Management announced Sunday morning that they have received reports of 22 fatalities from Bertie, Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Lee and Wake counties. More than 80 people have suffered injuries after at least 20 counties reported tornadoes.
Emergency crews are still searching for victims in the hard-hit parts of the state. Authorities warn the death toll is likely to rise further as searchers probe shattered homes and businesses.
Another casualty of the storm system was Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. Damage to the campus was so severe that the school announced it would close down for the rest of the semester, although fortunately, none of the students, faculty or staff were reported injured. Graduation exercises will still be held on May 7 as planned, and students are to be graded on the work they've done so far this semester.
On Saturday night after the storm had passed, as the power was out, emergency lights came on and students gathered out in the quad areas to survey the damage.
A set of bleachers had been thrown across the road and landed on top of a wooden fence at a private residence.
Benches, garbage cans, and other objects were hurled across the area, while several vehicles were damaged or had their windows broken by the storm on campus.
Windows in some of rooms in the high rise dormitories were broken and there was also glass on the ground.
According to the school, luckily no students, faculty, or staff were injured in the storm.
SOURCE: Raleigh Telegram.
Shaw University, founded in 1865, lays claim to being the oldest historically black college in the South.
Nationwide, more than 40 people have lost their lives across the South because of wild weather over the past three days. Our prayers and thoughts are with their families.
Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.