Video: Staff and Students Remember Webster County Tornado

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CUMBERLAND, Miss. (WCBI) -Wednesday marked the 5th anniversary of the day an EF-3 tornado destroyed buildings at East Webster High School. Luckily no students where killed during that tornado, but it left educators at the time scrambling for a temporary place to call home.

“It was dark and I didn’t realize how bad the damage was until the sunlight came up and you could see that the roof was gone you know.”

Just looking at this brand new school building in the Cumberland Community, it hard to think that it was severely damaged when a tornado ripped through the area. Principal Brand lived 15 minutes away from the school, because of downed trees and power lines, it took him 3 hours to get there. Students Chris Stuckey and Courtney Burton were 7th graders at the time.

“So we came with the fire department through here checking on everybody. And I drove by remember looking at the school how devastating the damage was.”

“Upsetting, you didn’t know what to do. I mean luckily we wasn’t here. So nobody was hurt. Coming and seeing it, having to get everything out of our locker, I cried.”

“Got a text from Mr. Brand way before school started that morning said, I think his exact words used were disaster area. And we immediately had to start considering what we were going to do as an alternative.”

A convenient plan placed them at Wood Junior College where they would remain for two and a half years while there was construction on a new home.

“You know it wasn’t only our community, it was the surrounding communities that all came together and helped us go to Wood and clean and move things and it was just, goes to show you in a time of tragedy how everyone will come together.”

“It was a very good experience getting to go to Wood knowing that like it was almost like a college experience getting to walk around a college campus.”

April is severe weather month, and every April people in the Cumberland Community are sure to reflect on that early morning EF-3 tornado. If it ever happens again, they are well prepared.

“We have the opportunity to go to the gym which does serve as a safe room. So that provides us with a bit more security. But yes it does pop into my mind every April. And this is what 5 years?”

“Knowing that we are safe, especially when a tornado comes we can just go in the gym and we’re all safe.”

When the tornado hit the old East Webster High School, students were asleep in the safety of their homes. There was one tornado related death in the county.

Categories: Local News

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