18 Students Evacuate School Just Before Tornado Flattens Building

An emergency alert sent to the teachers’ cell phones about the tornado outbreak saved their lives.

18 Students Evacuate School Just Before Tornado Flattens Building

Students at an Alexandria, Louisiana school were able to escape their classroom before a tornado destroyed their school building on Tuesday.

All of the 18 students and staff at Hope Baptist Church and School were able to evacuate to the church building next door where they sheltered under the pews as the tornado struck.

About 10 minutes before the tornado hit, at about 12:15, teachers received a severe tornado alert on their mobile phones, which prompted the evacuation, reports KALB. The emergency alert and the decision to move saved their lives.

The tornado that struck the school was part of a large spring-like tornado outbreak in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, reports CBS 17. The twister that destroyed the school building is estimated to have cut a 63-mile path across Louisiana.

Although no one at Hope Baptist Church and School were injured, three people were killed in other parts of the region where the tornado outbreak occurred.

Three other schools in Alexandria are currently closed. Mabel Brasher Montessori Elementary School will be closed until further notice due to storm damage, and Alexandria Country Day School, as well as Oak Hill High School will be closed on Tuesday, reports Town Talk.

Additionally, the For My Child Learning Center was heavily damaged, and the Pineville High School athletics area and press box sustained some damage.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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