The National Weather Service is still trying to determine whether severe weather early Monday morning was a tornado, but if you ask some of the employees of Mexia State School, they will tell you it was.
One look around campus at the some of the destruction leads people to think it was more than straight line winds. An 18-wheeler was tipped over on its side, thrown more than 20 feet into the wall of the warehouse.
Facility Director Carolyn Milton is happy, however, that none of the 250 students or employees were injured. "If you had to have a tornado touch down, you couldn't have done it at a more beneficial time. 3 in the morning, people were not out and about. Cars were not parked in the lots."
Four areas of campus sustained serious damage. There are pieces of several different buildings' roofs strewn across campus. Power was completely knocked out, but the campus is up and running on generators until it can be fixed.
The most significant damage was to the warehouse, with one side of the walls completely blown out. The roof is twisted and shelves are falling out. "It's where we keep all the supplies for daily living to make sure our residents are taken care of everything from paper products to food stuffs," Milton said.
Even with the complications, it didn't stop the facilities operations. With the help of three refrigerated trucks, all meals were served on time today. In fact, Milton said they have been able to continue running things with only minor adjustments.
The immediate focus is still on cleaning up the school grounds. Milton said they have received an outpouring of support from the community.
"We've had calls from all kinds of different kinds of businesses and non-profits saying if there's anything they can do to help and that has been very touching to us," Milton said.
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