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Possible tornado strikes the Jessieville School District and the surrounding area



Jessieville, Arkansas – One of two places in the state that could have been affected by a tornado was the town of Jessieville. According to the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, the Jessieville School District sustained damage to 14 residences, three commercial buildings, and seven other structures.

The lives of children and employees cannot be replaced, according to district superintendent Melissa Spears.

“My staff stepped up, they did what we have been trained to do, they did what they know to do, and they protected our students,” Spears said.

The Garland County Sheriff’s Office’s Deputy Courtney Krazier reported that the potential storm was expected to impact the Jessieville region on Monday at 2:44 p.m. Fortunately, they claimed, no one was seriously hurt.

Insulation was present all around the Jessieville High School Stadium, the lights were dangling, and the scoreboard was entirely torn.

Third-grader Charlie Bates attends Jessieville Elementary. She had just returned to school after the winter break. She talked about what it was like when the storm came.

“Really scary like a 1000 percent scary,” Charlie said.

Charlie reported hearing a loud boom and observing how the class members responded.

“My teacher said get under your desk and then I was freaking out, then all I could hear was crying and it was like so much pain,” Charlie said.

Prior to the strong winds moving through the neighborhood, Spears claimed she was following weather coverage on television.

“Just out of the blue high winds, awnings began to blow away, flag pole blows over and students and staff began moving to the safe room. We didn’t have any prior warning,” she said.

Spears claims that once the potential tornado struck, they all were transported to their safe room. She announced that there would be no school on Tuesday and that they would be evaluating the damage to determine how long classes would be canceled. Spears pleaded with all parents to refrain from going back to the school to retrieve their children’s backpacks or other things.

“Once we that the buildings are safe we’ll send messages out to the parents as to when they can come and get their students things,” Spears said. “We’re probably looking at at least one to two AMI days.”

Spears said that her team took action to safeguard the students. Nicole, Charlie’s younger sister, expressed her gratitude for her teacher.

“Our teacher let us know and our teacher said it’s ok and she actually wanted us to be safe and I’m really proud of her because she’s a good teacher,” Nicole said.

Two employees did have minor injuries, according to Spears.

If anyone has any videos of the storm, Krazier requested that they send them to her via email at [email protected] She claimed that the National Weather Service is trying to figure out whether or not it was a tornado.