Brooklyn Student Catches Tornado on Tape

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011  |  Updated 7:46 AM EDT
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A Brooklyn teen found himself in the middle of a tornado and he captured those frantic moments on his video camera.

Pei-Sze Cheng

A Brooklyn teen found himself in the middle of a tornado and he captured those frantic moments on his video camera.

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A Brooklyn teen found himself in the middle of a tornado and he captured those frantic moments on his video camera.

Julius Stukes, a sophomore at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., was in his dorm room when the tornado struck.

"It happened so suddenly," said Stukes. "It was so loud, the wind. The windows shattered, it was crazy."

While people were running away from the storm and hiding under tables, Stukes grabbed his camera and ran outside.

"Oh my God, oh my God," he said. "I'm standing right in the middle of the tornado."

While he was not actually in the tornado's funnel, he arrives just as it leaves. In the video, you can see debris and dust whirling around. And the damage is unmistakeable. The tornado shattered windows in a dormitory, toppled trees and even blew off chunks of the roof of several buildings.

Denise Simmons, Stukes' aunt, who takes care of Julius and his siblings, reprimanded him like any mother would.

"I said Julius, don't you ever do that again, you could have gotten yourself killed!"

While the semester is over, Stukes who lives in Canarsie, Brooklyn, says his work is far from done. Now he's focused on raising enough money to help his college rebuild.

And rebuilding will be a tall order. The powerful tornado caused significant damage.  Until further notice, final exams and even graduation will have to wait, until officials can better assess the damage. 

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