Scott: It was a weekend spent reflecting on tragedy that struck Henryville, Indiana a year ago. But it was also a time to celebrate the town’s progress.
Henryville resident: The new school and the new houses – everything that they’ve done. You know, you see people that you don’t even know come from different states and help you. And it’s just – it’s really moving.
Scott: Saturday marked exactly one year since a series of tornados ripped through southern Indiana. Thirteen people died in the state hit by those storms and much of Henryville’s school was destroyed.
Twenty-twelve was the second deadliest March on record for tornados in the U.S. The tornado that hit Henryville was one of at least 80 twisters reported on March 2nd alone. The average number of tornados for the entire month of March is 87.
But just five months after the tornado, the school had been rebuilt, opening in August for students mainly because of the help and donations that flowed in from across the country.
Kaitlyn Maloney: It was a lot of change. But throughout the whole thing, we had our teachers and the students, and that’s the most important thing. It wasn’t the building; it was the people in it.
Scott: Today, the Henryville High School gym is brand new and gym class is held as it has been since August.
Kaitlyn: Just to see everyone back in here where we’ve gone to school since kindergarten. And it was just awesome to come back in and it be the same way that it was.
Scott: But there have been some changes at the school to prepare for future bad weather.
Troy Albert: We also added some safety features by taking doors out.
Scott: The school also added safe rooms that can fit and protect all the students in the school.
And one year later, Principal Albert says all the students at Henryville are now back in their homes or have since rebuilt.
Principal Albert: It’s been an exciting year, one that I’ve learned a lot and I will treasure in my memory banks. But I’m also here for the benefit of students and want to make sure that they’re doing best that they can.
Kaitlyn: We’re not trying to forget everything, but we’re just trying to move on from what happened. We’re remembering the good things, how the community came together.
Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News.
- What did citizens of Henryville, Indiana commemorate over the weekend?
- What kinds of progress have been made in the past year?
- How could “safe rooms” be most effectively used at Henryville High School?