Joplin Schools to Reopen with In-School Tornado Shelters

6 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Monday, January 06 2014 Jan 6, 2014 Monday, January 06, 2014 9:27:00 PM CST January 06, 2014 in News
By: Jim Riek, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

JOPLIN - A snow day Monday sort of dulled the excitement for 1300 kids who were set to begin classes in three brand new schools.

Yesterday, on KOMU 8 Jim Riek's trip back from the Cotton Bowl, he had the chance to sit down with Joplin Superintendent CJ Huff, who was helping out with construction, and to talk about new policies: not sending kids into a hallway during a tornado, and the need for tornado shelters.

"What I've seen and learned with our disaster first-hand, I would highly recommend a district considering new construction to at least price out what it will cost to build safe rooms as a part of the construction process," Huff said.

Construction is ongoing in Joplin, and what appears to be a classroom is actually a tornado shelter - as is the new gym.

It has 12-inch walls from top to bottom," Huff said. "We could be having music class in here with an EF5 above us and it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Many of the kids who will fill the hallways of the school lived through the tornado.

"We had about 3000 students who lived in the path of the storm. We lost seven students and a staff member, and lots more injuries than I can count," Huff said.

He said that while the physical scars of the tornado are gradually being covered up, the emotional and mental damage remains.

"The mental health is still a challenge. I believe we were still providing services for about 900 students."

"You always think 'It will never happen here'. We were one of those communities too; when I woke up that day, I wasn't thinking an EF5 was rolling through Joplin," Huff said.

And if you don't think an EF5 can drop from the skies in mid-Missouri, there's a new slogan here: anything's possible in Joplin, Huff says.

"We're really excited where we are. It's been quite a ride, and we feel we're back on our feet again and getting refocused. I'm really proud of what everyone has done, and can't say thank you enough for all the support we've received from across the Midwest and our Missouri friends who made sure we got back up on our feet again."

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – The messy weather pattern we’ve been in is about to head east and we’ll be left with cooler... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:57:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in Weather
LAKE OF THE OZARKS —After videos of a crowded Lake of the Ozarks bar went viral over Memorial Day weekend,... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:45:58 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - With schools closed and after school programs cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community has gotten creative... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:37:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — Deputies from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested an 18-year-old from Tebbetts on Monday. Just after... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:03:11 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —A formal plea of not guilty in the murder of Mengqi Ji was filed on behalf of Joseph... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:22:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that Missouri voters will see the constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid eligibility... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:03:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:00:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top health official in Kansas on Tuesday urged Kansans who joined large gatherings at Missouri's... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:49:56 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri is moving into a new phase of COVID-19 reopening that will implement a new set of guidelines... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson will deliver his daily COVID-19 briefing live from the State Capitol in Jefferson City... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:01:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals upheld a ruling Tuesday that the city of Columbia acted... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 12:14:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
HOWARD COUNTY - A 30-year-old Armstrong, Mo. man is dead after a two person crash on Missouri State Highway 5... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:38:00 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Despite dips in recent years in gun violence and the sanctioned stay-at-home orders, Chicago saw its deadliest Memorial... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:54:36 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:29:00 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
CHARITON COUNTY —A tornado briefly touched down in Chariton County just after 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 9:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
O’FALLON — Missouri’s health director issued a dire warning Monday after photos and video showed Memorial Day weekend revelers partying... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 8:39:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic sidelining all youth sports from play, one local coach decided to get some practice... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 5:57:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County will move to the next step in reopening Tuesday. Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 5:17:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
4am 67°
5am 66°
6am 66°
7am 67°