Delaney Ware said she is lucky to be alive today.
The 19-year-old University of Alabama freshman nursing student and 2010 Clovis High School graduate said a devastating tornado barely missed her campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. last night.
She spoke to Freedom New Mexico on Thursday afternoon by phone about the tornado. Ware is currently on her way to visit her parents in South Carolina. Here’s her account of what happened and the devastation:
“We had to take cover last night about 5:30 p.m. They said (the tornado) was over a mile wide and it basically flattened all of Tuscaloosa. It was less than a block away from campus and it took everything out. When I left this morning, I literally didn’t know where I was because there’s no house, there’s no buildings, there’s nothing left.
“So far in the state of Alabama there’s over 250 deaths and we reportedly lost over 50 students. Before we had to go downstairs, when the sirens started going off, I could see it out my window and I was scared to death because at first I thought it was going to go right through campus, but it barely missed campus. (The tornado) was like literally half a block away,” she said.
“I live in the dorms,” Ware continued. “The dorms are fine, but I’m in a sorority, and basically all our off-campus housing is gone, like all of the students that lived off campus, their apartments are flattened to the ground, and their cars and basically everything is gone. It was horrible.
“We’ve been having tornado warnings all semester, and nobody took it seriously because they have all been such a joke. They would make us go downstairs for five minutes and then they’d be like, ‘OK, it’s over,’ so people were on their front porches watching it because nobody thought it was going to be bad.
“People were just out and about. The mall is non-existent. There’s a shopping center about two blocks from campus and it’s gone. All of the off-campus housing is gone and people are trapped in apartment complexes.
“We were supposed to take finals next week and everything at the university has been postponed. I won’t take my finals until August. They canceled graduation, they canceled everything. There is no electricity, cell phone service or power at all in Tuscaloosa.
“Keep praying for everyone in Tuscaloosa because we need it.”