MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. - Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley announced the future plans for Brindlee Mountain Primary School on Sunday after an EF-2 tornado hit the school on Saturday causing major damage.
According to a news release, Superintendent Wigley said efforts are being made to relocate Brindlee Mountain Primary School to the middle school building of Brindlee Mountain High School.
In order for a smooth transition, Superintendent Wigley said school for Brindlee Mountain schools (primary, elementary, and high schools) will be closed this week, January 13 through 17. Extra-curricular activities will continue as scheduled, and all teachers and staff should report as directed by local school administration, according to Superintendent Wigley.
All other Marshall County schools will be in session and follow their regular schedule, according to Superintendent Wigley.
Superintendent Wigley said they are "thankful and blessed that our children and staff were not at school during this tragic event."
Superintendent Wigley said the Marshall County School Board of Education will have a special called meeting on Monday, in order to declare an emergency and request financial assistance from the State of Alabama.
In the release, Wigley thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers. She specifically thanked Representative Wes Kitchens, Senator Clay Scofield, Sheriff Phil Sims and his staff, local churches, and the area volunteer fire departments for their amazing efforts. She also thanked the North Alabama school systems for offering their assistance.
"The Union Grove community is a strong and supportive community and will work alongside us as we get through this hardship together," said Superintendent Wigley.
Brindlee Mountain Primary School's principal shared a message with WHNT News 19.
Dear BMPS Family,
By now I am sure all of you have learned of the devastation our school suffered yesterday due to a tornado. On behalf of my staff and students I want to say THANK YOU for the out pouring of love and support we have received from individuals, families, teachers, administrators,churches, agencies, schools and school districts locally and across our great state. Our loss is overwhelming and our hearts are broken. Our Lord is Gracious and thankfully this was on a weekend and no injuries occur. Parents often question why schools dismiss due to the threat of severe weather. This is why.
Our loss is great, but so is our resolve. I have the best staff in the business. I am proud and honored to be their principal. We love our job, we love our school, and we love your kids. We will diligently work to get our school back on tract and schedule. We are eager to see the smiling faces that make our jobs worthwhile.
We have been overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity. There will be a time where we will need your help and assistance. At this time we a still working to prioritize the items we need and exactly when we will be able to receive items and assistance. I will be sure to share when and where we can receive items and assistance.
At this time the campus is off limits to everyone but school personnel due to safety and confidentiality concerns regarding student and employee records.
In the days and weeks ahead I humbly ask you pray for my staff, our students and our school. #BrindleeStrong
Terry S. Allen
The storms went across the entire Tennessee Valley on Saturday, leaving downed trees, downed powerlines, damaged roofs, and flooding. But the most damage was seen in Marshall County at Brindlee Mountain Primary School.
A survey team from National Weather Service (NWS) Huntsville said the EF-2 tornado had winds of 120 mph when it hit Brindlee Mountain Primary School.
9am Sun: Our team surveying damage in Marshall County has determined an EF-2 tornado with winds of 120 MPH hit the Brindlee Mountain School area. Additional details still to come. #HUNwx
— NWS Huntsville (@NWSHuntsville) January 12, 2020
The storms ripped through the back half of the school, exposing the cafeteria and classrooms. Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims told WHNT News 19 the damage is "extensive."
According to Superintendent Wigley, a fund has been set up at Citizens Bank and Trust for anyone wanting to donate to Brindlee Mountain Primary School. Citizens Bank and Trust has eight locations across North Alabama. Donations can be made to the Brindlee Mountain Primary School Disaster Recovery Account.