New security footage of EF-3 tornado from inside Jacksboro TX schools

Randy Jennings

May 18, 2013
More security video has been released by Jacksboro ISD of the EF-3 tornado that hit 2 of their schools on Monday 3-21-2022. There is one lucky guy in the hail on the first video clip. He missed the celling falling in by seconds. Also a good PSA video for why you should not shelter in rooms with large span roofs (i.e. gyms).

The vortex at 47 sec to 1 min - I’m thinking that was an individual vortex of a multi-vortex tornado- surely they wasn’t the entire tornado- correct?
I would say neither. It's too small and too slow of a vortex to be considered either one. It's more like what you see in a semi-enclosed area outside when leaves swirl.
Lots of interesting video on Weather Channel showing a homeowner in a doorway filming debris moving from behind blow past. Cliff Horton was the photographer at a golf club in GA. The F-3 in New Orleans was also filmed..
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The gymnasium at 1:20, what are your thoughts on taking shelter under the bleachers?
I guess if you find yourself in a gym with no better place to go in time, under the bleachers might be a good place to go as it might offer some protection from flying debris and a collapsing celling. My first choice would be to get out of any room with a large span roof and into a smaller well built interior room. Large span roofs are often the first to go in windstorms (tornadic or not).
I was thinking pretty much what Randy said on sheltering under the bleachers...basically an area of last resort.
Ideal would simply be to get out of there.
Given what the hallway looked like in the video, it doesn't look that ideal either. When my children were young, their tornado drill in school was to go to the hall, sit on the floor next to the wall facing it, with their head down and covering the back of their head and neck with their arms and hands. Thankfully they never had to deal with a tornado in school.
Hallways are not often good places to take shelter as they can become wind tunnels.

Where to take shelter really depends on the design of the building. In the elementary school I attended, every wing had a long hall, exterior door at end, and classrooms on either side of the long hall. The classrooms all had exterior extipr exposure on the side opposite the hall with base cabinets and then windows to the celling. In that case I think I would shelter in the hall to avoid all of the flying glass. Tthere where restrooms too, but they also had large frosted glass windows.

A small interior room with no windows or other hazards is ideal, but sometimes you have to do the best with what you have.
This was obviously from a long time ago, but:

One of the elementary schools I attended had classrooms around the outside, most with windows...and windows that could be opened at that! (well, untill they went around & screwed them all shut due to kids unlocking/nobody noticing/sneaking in at night). Some had exterior doors as well
Then 4 main hallways around, with exterior doors at the ends of some
And a central bank of classrooms in the middle.

The "walls" between classrooms (and some hallways) were simply panels that clamped to the grid ceiling & were (I believe) screwed/bolted to the floor, and no doors on any of the rooms. Obviously done so rooms could be fairly easily re-configured.
But even where there were normal walls (one main hallway, restrooms, offices, etc), they only went up to the ceiling...the space above the ceiling was open over the entire school (except the gym since that was taller)

With that sorta setup (wall panels clamped to the ceiling grid), if you woulda lost the roof (and along with it the grid) most of the classroom walls would simply have fallen over...The safest place probably would have been in one of the offices.

They didn't do tornado drills or anything other than fire drills.

That said:
* We don't get tornadoes here. (I know "never say never" but the chances of anything are so rare...)
* The school was completely gutted & re-done (plus added on to) after I left. With actual walls/doors on classrooms/etc (codes had been upgraded since the time it was the old design was pretty noisy being so open.)

I have a feeling that there probably were allot of older school buildings with simple (and maybe not so safe) construction like that around....maybe even still some too.