East Prairie School Dist. practices tornado drill with new storm - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

East Prairie School Dist. practices tornado drill with new storm shelter


The days of students cramming into hallways and using hands to shield their head from falling debris are nearly outdated.

“There are a lot of dangers in those hallways, so it is nice to be here where the kids have space to be safe and don’t have to worry about something falling on them,” said C.A Counts.

We’ve seen it before.

Back in 2006, surveillance video from Caruthersville High School’s shows what a tornado can do inside of a school where children were once thought to be safe.

On Wednesday, the East Prairie School district practiced a tornado drill with their new 8,000 sq. foot safe room.

“We have to look at transporting the students by bus, it takes a lot more planning,” said C.A. Counts.

Counts said all 2,100 students and 100 staff members from four different campuses must pack into the safe room in under 10 minutes.

“I was going to be happy if we were going to be under thirty minutes,” he said.

These students did it in under 10.

Kids didn’t have to crouch down in front of a wall for protection either.

These walls to the safe room can withstand 250 mile per hour winds, so students sit comfortably until the tornado passes.

The room is also open to the community during severe weather for those who don’t have a basement.

The district superintendent said they’ll practice the drill a few more times before the start of tornado season. 

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