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Bridge Creek Elementary Provided Shelter For Community During Tornado

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The elementary school opened its doors as a safe place for the community during the May 6th storms. The elementary school opened its doors as a safe place for the community during the May 6th storms.
BRIDGE CREEK, Oklahoma -

The elementary school opened its doors as a safe place for the community during the May 6th storms.

"We do drills all the time and we tell them it's practice, it's practice," Principal Tina Floyd said they had no choice but to put their plans to the test yesterday," I got on the intercom and I said anyone who is here we are shutting the doors now, we are in a tornado situation."

Although classes were dismissed earlier in the day, several parents and their young students chose to stay and take cover in a safe place.

More than 100 people took shelter in the school's eight safe rooms.

"They were in lockers, cubby holes, and they were not crying or screaming," Floyd described the young student's calm demeanor during the storm. They were very brave."

She said they stayed calm even in spite of the destructive winds they heard overhead.

"When the lights went out and the power and everything that's when it really you could hear stuff hitting the roof," said Floyd.

The storms toppled trees at the school, overturned cars, and wiped out several homes in the community.

It was a scary resemblance to the F-5 tornado that leveled Bridge Creek, May 3, 1999.

It was that storm; however, that changed the way the community handled severe weather.

The devastation led to the approval of a bond to pay for safe rooms in the schools that 16 years later proved their value.

"We were very lucky and our safe rooms did their job,” said Floyd.

The elementary is now a command center accepting donations of essential items like water, trash bags, and totes.

At last check, the greatest need in the area is leather gloves and bobcats to help move debris.

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