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Shaw Devastated By Downtown Tornado (Also Stunning Video)

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Among the many colleges and universities of the Triangle, Shaw somehow always slips under the radar.  So it was no great surprise to us to see that the heavy damage to their campus is getting minimal attention locally. Even the fact that the school is suspending the rest of the semester barely rates a mention.

Shaw's campus and the nearby area were heavily hit, yet even a few blocks from campus the neglect and lack of concern is evident.  Whereas South Saunders has been shut down, on the blocks of Person Street  south of MLK, among the lesser problems is a line is down in the street.

The solution? The line is still in the street, but there's a cone sitting on the tip of it now.  One hopes it is not live, but how could you know?

It's all too typical of how that part of Raleigh is systematically ignored, which gets us back to Shaw.

If a disaster like this had hit State or Duke or Chapel Hill or even Peace or Meredith, it would have gotten extensive media coverage.

Shaw never gets a break.

We drove by campus Sunday evening, and saw plenty of damage: dozens of cars trashed, trees ripped up like matchsticks, roofs damaged, broken windows -- and that was just what we could see on a casual pass-by.

More distressing was the unusual site of students everywhere.

Foot traffic around Shaw is heavy during class hours, of course, but not so much during off-hours.

Yet there were dozens of students walking around, many on cellphones, and after a minute we realized that they were packing to leave.

To say they looked stunned and traumatized would be a severe understatement.

We know that even in the economic downturn we've been through that a lot of our readers can help.  And Shaw will probably need a lot of help.

Please consider giving what you can. As one of the South's oldest HBCU's, Shaw has an important mission, one we hope they can continue.  This weekend's storm, though, is likely to prove one of their greatest challenges.

*****

Julius Stukes Jr., a Shaw student who is either insane or completely lacking in fear rushed down to a door to videotape the storm. This video, shot live as the tornado hit and in the immediate aftermath, is absolutely riveting.   If we're a TV station or network, we're tracking this guy down and teaching him some technical skills.  He's got incredible nerve and a feel for this sort of thing.  The video also underscores the immense damage and the need to rebuild, and so the corresponding need for help.

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