Storm Shelter – Smithville School gym doubles as storm shelter


SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — In April of 2011, an EF-5 twister devastated a number of cities throughout Mississippi and Alabama.

Now, Smithville Faculty has a basketball gymnasium that doubles as a shelter, constructed a few years after that lethal twister, in line with the varsity’s Principal.

The entrance doorways of Smithville Faculty health club. Photograph taken 03-23-21.

This health club has a concrete ceiling, the principal stated it’s the place tons of of individuals come to shelter throughout a storm.

It is most capability is 1,000 individuals seated, however he stated they’ll match extra in there standing within the occasion of a significant storm.

“Lots of people are in all probability like, me, may not have taken storms significantly, however that is probably not a difficulty now. When the sirens go off, this place will get packed rapidly,” Principal Chad O’Brian stated.

O’Brian stated that in college hours, he takes over operations of the health club, however after college hours, or if he is not on the town, the Metropolis Corridor and police take over and ensure the health club is operational for individuals to make use of.

“That is actually the largest factor in storms like that is simply communication and preparedness forward of time. You understand as soon as it hits, it is a bit too late, as we discovered again in 2011,” O’Brian added.

Proper down the road is a WTVA viewer who stated he was listening to WTVA Meteorologist Matt Laubhan when the storm hit.

“This can be a image after the twister with us,” he stated as he pointed to a photograph of the injury to his property taken from an aerial view.

“We had a constructing right here destroyed, constructing right here destroyed, home destroyed, that is the workplace the place we was standing, the one factor left was the ground.”

He stated the one constructing left in good condition was his barn.

“We have been right here within the corridor of the home praying Lord, save us. And he did.”

“Ever since then, I’ve to hearken to Matt on the climate, afraid it is gonna be dangerous once more. (laughs)”

He stated that it was really unimaginable to see the turnout of individuals to assist after the storm, including it took about 2 years for him to fully rebuild.

He stated he is been by it, so he is aware of what to do if a twister comes once more, including that he additionally prepares by ensuring he has water and meals.

“It is one thing you attempt to neglect. I’ve after it occurred, but it surely’s a part of life.”

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