County takes part in tornado drill

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Two years after &uot;straight-line winds&uot; tore a path through downtown Natchez, Adams County passed a statewide tornado drill Wednesday with almost flying colors. The drill was part of Mississippi Severe Weather Awareness Week Feb. 21-25.

&uot;The drill went lovely on our end,&uot; said George Souderes, Adams County Civil Defense director.

Civil Defense exercised all of its alert and warning systems including outdoor sirens, all-call school alert systems, cable alert, emergency broadcasting system and emergency telephone call-down system.

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One of the NOAA weather radios issued to local schools did not pick up the warning signal, Souderes said.

&uot;Trinity’s radio didn’t go off,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s a good sign we need to get an outside antenna put up to pick up that signal.&uot;

Other than the lack of reception by Trinity Episcopal School’s NOAA radio, Souderes said the Adams County drill went without a hitch.

Wayne Barnett, secondary curriculum coordinator for the Natchez-Adams School District, said the drill went well at the schools in the district.

&uot;Everyone went where they were supposed to go and did what they were supposed to do,&uot; he said.

He was at Natchez High School during the drill and admitted the tornado plan at the high school is a little different than most schools due to its unique &uot;pod&uot; design.

&uot;At most of our schools, we move students into interior hallways and have them sit against concrete walls,&uot; Barnett said. &uot;But at the high school, we move a number of students into the vocational complex,&uot; he said. Students in mobile classrooms are moved into the basement of the school gym and others are moved to the innermost corner of their &uot;pod&uot; classroom, away from windows.

Barnett said this was the third tornado drill this school year for most students.