Students working out in the UCF gym during Wednesday night’s tornado warning were ordered by megaphone to drop their weights and seek cover in the locker-room until the threat passed, eyewitnesses said.

A building manager also ran onto the courts with the megaphone to order those crowds into the locker-room as well.

The tornado warning expired at 8:30 p.m. and provided continuous live updates of the tornado warning and lock-down situation at the gym live as it unfolded. 

Dodgeball games scheduled after 8:30 p.m. were cancelled as a safety precaution, a Rec Center official said.  Team captains were called and told not to drive to campus due to the weather.

A Rec and Wellness official said students were allowed inside the gym during the storm, but were kept inside during what he called a “lock-down.”

The gym was back open for business as usual around 9 p.m.

Across campus, incoming freshmen attending the Ice Cream Social at Orientation told they were strongly encouraged to remain inside the Union until the storm passed.

About 20 miles from campus at the Florida Mall an apparent tornado touched down just before 8 p.m.

A large warehouse was damaged by the apparent twister, and a hole was left in portions of the building.

No tornado was spotted on the UCF campus.

Hail was reported throughout the Orange County, and students told they saw rapid lightning, strong rains and heavy winds roar through campus.

Above video shot by Julian Belyea as storm moved over students’ home near 417 & University.
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