At about 5:30 a.m. March 3, 2012, students at Columbia International University heard a roar. It turned out to be a tornado that hit the Denny Terrace neighborhood just south of the CIU campus. The National Weather Service said an F-0 tornado (minimal tornado) damaged trees and a home in Denny Terrace. And even though officially the tornado did not hit the CIU campus, numerous trees were uprooted and large branches were down mostly near the Pine View Apartments on the west side of the CIU campus. Electricity to the apartments was knocked out. Crews from the power company had the juice back on by late afternoon.
Mike Thompson, the CIU director of residence life said the favor of God was upon the campus. There were no injuries, and the only initial damage noticed was a few shingles blown from a residence hall.
The trail of the storm can be detected by following the downed trees. It roughly follows a path northwest to southeast through woods adjacent to the Pine View Apartments and then along a road past residence halls and the WMHK radio studios, and then behind a second set of residence halls. There was also damage to a tree at the entrance to the CIU Village mobile home park on Frost Avenue just south of the main campus.