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Union student walks away from tornado's center

JACKSON, Tenn.Nov. 15, 2002 – On Saturday night, Union senior Christine Ealey walked away unscathed from an experience few people live to tell about – being caught in the center of a tornado. After leaving her job as a waitress at a local restaurant when the tornado warning sirens sounded, she decided to make an attempt to reach her apartment before the storm hit. By the time she had made it north of the 45 Bypass, just opposite of Union, the rain was pouring down. Suddenly, she saw a funnel in front of her and in the next instant the wind was swirling all around her car, as a jet-like roar exploded all around her.

"I couldn't hold on the steering wheel," Ealey recalled. "The car was totally out of control and I was just hanging on to anything solid."

Ealey's car was spun around, blown across the median and landed in the southbound lanes, just in front of the campus’s Lifeway Bookstore. Amazingly enough, she emerged without a scratch--although she admits it took a long time for her to stop shaking. Her car was slightly more damaged, with the windshield wipers torn off, a shingle stuck in one tire, and the outside surface scratched by the whirling debris.

Ealey says her ordeal is almost amusing now, but being alive is a miracle she is so thankful for.

"I landed in the only place clear of fallen trees or smashed signs,” said Ealey. “I know it must have been God taking care of me."

By Mariann Martin, Class of 2004

Related Resource(s): More Tornado Damage Coverage
Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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