ENTERPRISE, Ala. (AP) - Federal weather officials say a March 1st tornado that struck Enterprise High School, killing eight students, shows the need for a "hardened safe room" for use during storms.
In its report today on the tornado outbreak in Alabama and Georgia, the National Weather Service said Enterprise school officials and students followed appropriate safety measures before and during the tornado.
Besides the deaths in Enterprise, the tornado outbreak killed six people in a mobile home park near Newton, Georgia, and five others elsewhere in Alabama and Georgia.
The NWS report said a total of 31 verified tornadoes struck 45 counties in Georgia and south Alabama. The deadliest hit Enterprise with 200 mile per hour winds.
Enterprise school officials hope to break ground next September on a new high school that will have some classrooms with interior shutters that lock during storms.
Two elementary schools also will have the shutter-equipped classrooms with walls built to withstand powerful winds.
Since the March 1st twisters, the weather service has moved from
a county-based system of warnings to a more geographically specific
storm-based warning system.
It gives more precise information about the location of severe weather and the direction it's expected to move.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)