Long-time Shaw University staff member recounts moments 10 years after tornado ripped through campus

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Agnes Baxter is a Shaw University alum and has worked at the school for more than three decades.

Over her time attending and working at Shaw she has a lot of memories.

However, some memories she just can’t shake.

“I cannot. The way that time is flying I cannot believe it has been 10 years because it does just seem like yesterday,” she said.

On April 16, 2011, a powerful tornado ripped through campus. According to the school’s website, the deadly tornado touched down just southwest of downtown Raleigh and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

“[I was] literally a block away when it happened,” Baxter mentioned.

Baxter rushed over from church after the tornado passed. She said her priority was to make sure the students were safe.

“A majority of the glass windows were out. My office was in the student center and the roof was peeled back and everything in disarray,” explained Baxter.

It eventually led to massive clean-up efforts.

The school had to eventually cancel the rest of the semester. Shaw had millions of dollars in repairs but was able to reopen the following semester.

With a lot of help from the community, Baxter said the school has slowly gotten back on its feet.

However, there are still little reminders of what happened.

“There are two mobile units and there’s another mobile unit as a result of FEMA, which became our counseling center,” Baxter said.

“We just keep rolling. Like water off a duck’s back. We just roll with the flow,” she stated with a smile.

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