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900 campers escape injury in NGU storm

GREENVILLE, S.C. (BP)–About 900 teenagers and camp staff narrowly escaped injury when severe storms struck the campus of North Greenville University July 21.

The students, who were attending Centrifuge and M-fuge camps, were finishing a worship service and about to move to Bible study classes in NGU’s Donnan Administration Building when the storm hit, according to the university’s website. Half that building’s roof was torn off and the debris landed on the Neves Academic Building a few yards away, a quarter of which collapsed.

Damage to the campus was estimated at $500,000 to $1 million, but North Greenville President James Epting was more focused on what he called “a miracle in Tigerville.”

“This is nothing when you think about lives,” Epting told the Greenville News. “To know you had that many people on campus and not one was hurt — it was a miracle in Tigerville.”

While a tornado was not reported, storms like the one that struck the campus may pack winds in excess of 60 mph, a National Weather Service meteorologist told the newspaper.

Damage to the administration building was minimal because an original flat roof underneath the existing roof remained intact, the school reported on its website. A portion of the building that housed the school’s main computer server was damaged by water. The area damaged in the academic building includes the registrar’s office.

“Buildings can be replaced but lives can’t,” Epting said. “We are very blessed that no one was injured.”

The students were expected to finish out their week of camp and fall classes will begin as scheduled on Aug. 20. The university is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Its website is www.ngu.edu.
Compiled by Mark Kelly, an assistant editor with Baptist Press.

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