Local JSU student on tornado: "It just sounded like a freight tr - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local JSU student on tornado: "It just sounded like a freight train"

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Photo by Channel 3's Taneisha Cordell. Photo by Channel 3's Taneisha Cordell.
JACKSONVILLE, AL -

(WRCB) -- A severe weather system spawned tornadoes and hailstorms that caused widespread damage in Alabama Monday. 

The campus of Jacksonville state university was directly hit with an EF-3 tornado.

Channel 3 went to JSU's campus and found dozens of downed power lines, trees and buildings that are ripped apart. It's spring break for students, but for those living on or near campus they're faced with homes that are now destroyed. 

JSU senior, Winston Tramble was at his apartment across the street from campus when the tornado touched down. 

"Me and my friends had to go hide in the closet; heard a boom. The lights went off and we got on the floor, crawled to the closet got a mattress to prop it up and serve as a door and we just waited; waited an hour and a half," said Tramble. "I was never thinking in my four and a half years of being in college I would actually experience something like this." 

The National Weather Service says the tornado had winds of up to 140 mph.

READ MORE | Storms strike college, leave trail of damage across South

 "It just sounded like a freight train. It sounded like missiles outside because the wind was going so fast you could actually hear the bricks smashing against cars, walls, and trees snapping. When I opened my door I saw apartments caved in and windows shattered; my car window was shattered all of that." 

Tramble's apartment received severe water damage. Some of his belongings are ruined.

"Yeah I hate that I lost a couple of things. I hate that other people lost everything, but at the end of the day this is what we got. Either you deal with it or you just lay down and you let it deal with you." 

Tramble says he's hoping to find another home soon. 

But with graduation coming up in May, he says he's waiting to hear from the university on what happens next. 

'We haven't received an email in regards to what the situation is all we know is what we see."

The city went under curfew at 7:00 p.m. local time Tuesday.

We're told the JSU campus will be off-limits to the public during the cleanup.

The university's president traveled back to Alabama from Texas, where he was spending spring break. He has started surveying the campus and plans to make a statement to the press Wednesday at noon on Harwell Avenue. 

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for some counties, including Jackson and DeKalb.

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