Although it has been more than a week since deadly tornadoes raged through the Midwest and families have begun to put their lives back together, details about the Nov. 17 storm's destruction are still emerging.
Some of the latest surveillance footage capturing nature's power comes from Lafayette, Ind., showing the moment a twister tore into Southwestern Middle School. Although the storm was devastating for many, this video is likely to leave parents thankful it occurred on a Sunday when class was not in session.
The school's gym as the tornado hit. (Image source: WISH-TV/YouTube)
The ceiling comes down in the eight grade hallway. (Image source: WISH-TV/YouTube)
“That's the best, peaceful feeling that I got that day when I walked through the building was that no students would have been here, if they were at the school, they would have all been in a safe location. They would have all been safe,” Principal Karen Smith told WISH-TV.
The principal said she is comforted knowing that even if students had been in the school, per their safety policy, they would not have been in damaged areas. (Image source: WISH-TV/YouTube)
While the school is under construction for damage from the storm, students are displaced into different buildings. (Image source: WISH-TV/YouTube)
The school district released the video to provide a lesson about the importance of safety drills and will be using it to evaluate if there is any room for improvement in its safety policy.
Watch the dramatic footage in WISH-TV's report:
“Anytime something like this happens in our school district, we'll go back and debrief,” Superintendent Scott Hanback told the news station. “We'll work with our appropriate local officials. We'll work with our administrative team and make sure that we have our buildings as safe as we can possibly make them.”
While the school is under construction, students are back in class after being placed temporarily in other area schools and building.
“I wouldn't be human if I didn't say there were ups and downs to the process, but honestly seeing the kids have really eased our emotions and have taken us back to why we're here and what we're doing,” sixth grade teacher Kelly Peckinpaugh, now holding class at a local church, told WISH.