JACKSBORO, TX (CBSDFW.COM) – Cleanup continued in North Texas on Wednesday after at least 10 confirmed tornadoes touched down on March 21. One of the hardest hit areas was Jacksboro, where officials confirmed an EF-3 twister had moved.
Jacksboro Elementary School was hit by the tornado, and it’s hard to believe that students, parents and staff were inside the building and made it out alive.
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In cellphone video passed to CBS 11, someone can be heard yelling, “Sit against the wall.”
This was the view inside the school as the EF-3 tornado moved. In the video, the lights were turned off, the alarms went off and people were hiding on the floor in the hallway.
“When I walked in, all the kids were on the floor crying. I’m just trying to look for my little sister,” Jacksboro High School student Betsy Ailyn Santana Flores said. “And the moment it hit, it was just black. I couldn’t find her.
At a time when most people would freak out, Flores was on a mission as she recorded the video.
“Someone [was] saying, ‘Everyone evacuate, we have a tornado warning’ and then when we heard everyone started panicking,” Flores said. “I just calmed down and wanted to get my sister out.”
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Flores is a freshman at Jacksboro High School, but said she left her building and went to pick up her sister inside the elementary school, one of the hardest-hit buildings in town. .
“They told me to come downstairs, and I slept with like her and four other children. I told them to get under me so they wouldn’t hurt themselves,” Flores said. “I was scared and I was terrified, but I was a little worried like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to make it.'”
As they walked out, they got their first glimpse of the severity of the storm.
Flores’ father is still in shock.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Vicente Santana said. “I’m lucky today because I have my family here.”
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Jacksboro ISD said classes would resume next week. The college was not damaged. The high school gymnasium was destroyed, but the district said students could return there for classes. They are trying to find a place to relocate primary school students and staff.