ENC schools participate in statewide tornado drill

ENC schools participate in statewide tornado drill
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:16 PM EST
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - It’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and students here in the east spent the day learning what to do when a storm strikes.

Sirens blared Wednesday morning as students at Creekside elementary school in Winterville crouched down and ducked their heads for the statewide tornado drill.

The school’s principal, Yolanda Williams, says she was confident the students would know what to do.

“The teachers actually prepared them and actually talked about it,” Williams said. “Students were able to ask questions. Even today during announcements we got to talk about the differences between a warning, tornado watches and a tornado emergency.”

The crouching position is meant to protect you from flying debris if a tornado ever touches down.

In Eastern Carolina, the Pitt County Emergency Management Director, Randy Gentry, says you have to be prepared for anything.

“We remind the public that we need a plan,” Gentry said. “Whether it be a tornado, flooding or a hurricane.”

One tornado outbreak that comes to mind for Gentry was in the 1980′s.

“We had a string of tornadoes come through that impacted the Eastern Pines community, down through Ayden and parts of Pitt County. It was quite a severe storm,” Gentry said.

Gentry says several people died during that severe storm and that’s why drills like this are so important.

Severe Weather Awareness Week ends on Saturday.