Sampson County School Knows Importance of Severe Weather Drills

SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. — Schools across North Carolina practiced their annual severe weather drills Wednesday as part of the state’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week.  One school in Sampson County knows the importance of these drills from first-hand experience.

Union Intermediate School near Clinton was hit by a mircroburst January 13. While it was not a tornado, the straight-line winds estimated at 85 mph from a severe storm did as much damage as a tornado to the school’s gym.

Students at the school told us it was a scary experience. One of those students, Kemuel Jacbos said, “I turned around and saw a lot of rain. Mrs. Allen told us all to get in the hallway and crouched down on the wall.”

Another student, Kylie Register added, “Custodians came in and told us half the gym was completely gone.”

Union Intermediate’s principal, Dondi Hobbs, attributed the students’ quick reaction to the severe weather drills they practice in the disctrict and at schools around the state every year.  

Student Jeremy Serano agrees. He told us, “I feel I’m ready when something bad happens. I stay calm and don’t panic. Just go somewhere safe.”