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Storms hit; students take cover

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Students took cover in the lowest level of buildings for about an hour and a half Tuesday morning after the University issued a campus-wide alert notifying the community of a tornado threat.

The University informed students via e-mail, phone calls, text messages and overhead announcements to take cover. The messages called the threat “imminent.”

No tornado occurred, but winds reached more than 70 mph, the South Bend Tribune reported.

University spokesman Dennis Brown said there was no damage on campus besides “a couple branches [down] here and there.”

Brown said the branches did not hit any buildings and he was not aware of any trees that came down.

The University sent out the first alert around 9:10 a.m. and asked everyone on campus to go to the lowest level of a building. A second message was sent out at 10:26 a.m. reporting that the warning had been extended.

The University gave the “all clear” for students to return to normal activity at 10:46 a.m., Brown said.

Brown said the “redundancy” of the alerts — through text messages, phone calls, e-mail, the University website and the public address system — was effective in getting the word out to students, faculty and staff.

The public address system, which was activated last spring, was a “very effective tool” for making an emergency announcement, Brown said.

“I think for the most part the combination of tools that we used to alert the campus worked well,” he said. “It was a disruption this morning, but I think most people were able to cope and go to the lowest level and wait it out.”