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Weather doesn't stop picnic at Smiley
MR Picnic2web
After the tornado warning, everyone enjoyed fried chicken at the Picnic for Parents. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
LUDOWICI -- Despite a tornado warning in effect for Long County on Friday, Smiley Elementary School still had its annual Picnic for Parents in the lunchroom.
"The Smiley Elementary faculty and staff thank all the parents for helping us keep the children calm and comfortable during the tornado warning this morning," Principal Sandy Jones said.
According to Jones, there were around 200 parents on the campus for the picnic when the school went into a tornado warning.
"We had been monitoring the weather and when it was confirmed that a tornado had been spotted in the area and we were in a warning, we moved the children into the hallways," the principal said.
While the students were in crouched into protective positions in the halls, teachers, faculty and parents all fanned the students to keep them comfortable. The warning lasted from 10:30 a.m. until 11:24 a.m., when Long County FEMA Coordinator Darrell Ballance notified the schools it was safe to go back into the classes.
Despite verified tornados as close as Nahunta, according to local 911 dispatch as of 11 p.m. Friday, there was no major damage in Long County. Earlier in the day, the only reports related had been a down power line and a tree reported to have fallen on a road.
Alan Engler, a parent who at the picnic with his daughter, Summer, said the warning was handled well.
"I think the staff handled the situation pretty good," Engler said. "My oldest daughter attended here, and now my youngest one does. They do a good job here. I'm very happy with this school."
According to Jones the school has some type of emergency drill each month.
"The students were wonderful and well-behaved, and fortunately everything went well," said the Principal.

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