Petal Upper Elementary re-opens after deadly tornado

PETAL, Miss. - The Petal School District announced it will re-open Petal Upper Elementary Monday after being partially destroyed by the deadly E-F3 tornado January.

"We had roof damage, which was the bulk of our damage, and from there water was pouring into the building, damaging technology to a host of other things" said Petal Superintendent Matt Dillon.

In the less than 72 hours since the tornado hit on an early Saturday morning, teachers, volunteers, and parents worked to get the students back into a safe classroom.

The following Tuesday 600 students were housed at Petal Harvey Baptist Church. Petal Upper Elementary Principal Rob Knight said, “We had a parent meeting that Monday night to reassure the parents that we had a plan in place."

"We were ready to educate those kids, and as soon as they came back that’s what we did we got right to it" he said. Officials said the students needed to get back into a normal routine.

“This worked out very well here there’s a gym that the students can use for recreation, they go to the park, the relay park, we walk to the park, and that is part of the break, and recess break which is important" said Knight.

He added ,"And then the rooms just a facility big enough to support that many kids.” Superintendent Dillon said the district is thankful for the community to come together and help the students.

“Just a host of people coming together and working long hours, and doing whatever is needed, and that is what we call the Petal Way here."

Students will celebrate with a morning rally Monday before classes start on campus.



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