William Carey students return to campus


Today was the first day of classes, just one month after a devastating EF3 tornado tore through William Carey University in Hattiesburg. Several students displaced from their dorms have moved back on to campus as well. Today, News 25 caught up with some of them as they returned to class.
William Carey University’s campus is bustling as students returned to class and their dorms, weaving in and out of construction zones, walking alongside construction workers, and steering clear of work trucks. Rebuilding continues just one month after a tornado ripped through campus, a scary encounter for international student Khaline Jacob from Trinidad. “It was like a crazy experience. It was mind blowing to know that could come within five seconds and just ruin everything. It was kind of heartbreaking too because this is the only place that I have.”
While Khaline’s dorm, Bass Hall, sustained damage, the building remained intact, but students who lived right next door in Ross Hall were not so lucky. The building roommates Alex Green and Abby Ham once lived in is now rubble. “It sounded like there was a freight train coming through and we could hear like the roof being ripped off and all the windows breaking and the door coming off the end of our hallway, and all I could hear was the screaming girls around me,” said Green.
Five buildings in total were lost to the tornado, but the school has wasted no time getting back up and running. Students tell News 25 what might normally be a noise nuisance on campus is a welcome sign of resiliency. They’re just happy to get back into the swing of things and reunite with friends. “It’s really exciting. We didn’t get much sleep last night actually because we were super excited to be back and just kind of get back into a semi-normal routine of being in class and being with our friends and this new college life that we’ve created for ourselves,” said Ham.
Alex and Abby are just two of hundreds of students displaced after the storm. Across the street is a constant reminder of their old building and what they went through that night, but now say they have a brand new outlook on life. “I have a greater appreciation because I feel like I went through something. I could have died that day so it makes me appreciate each day even more because I know that life is special,” said Green.
“I’ve got a lot more appreciation for life in general. Like every day is a gift, so I’m trying to use it to the best of my ability,” said Ham.

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