JACKSBORO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly two months after an EF-3 tornado ripped through the community of Jacksboro, tearing up houses and parts of some schools, the cleanup process continues for many.
“I’ve got some hard decisions to make,” said Jacksboro resident Susan Armontroutt.
She’s going over her options as her house isn’t livable anymore.
“I think I’m going to go back to Colorado for a few weeks, maybe a couple months, and evaluate and decide whether to just sell it as is or just sell the lots.”
At Jacksboro Elementary School, all students, Pre-K through 5th grade, are back inside the building after they rode out the tornado on March 21st.
“It was kind of surreal at first, because you get back in a building that is home to you and you feel like you’re back at home again. Just, that home looks a little different,” said Michael Qualls, Jacksboro Elementary School Principal.
The school’s gymnasium was ripped apart. The entrance to the gym from the inside is replaced with a painted temporary wall.
“Our teachers, who are amazing, wanted to give the kids some encouragement as they came back into the building so first thing they wanted them to see is ‘You are loved’,” said Qualls.
Qualls said the gym will take some time to rebuild and then once the students and staff leave for the summer, they’ll start working on roof repairs beginning June 1st. He also mentioned getting new playground equipment. It will arrive during the summer months as well.
“You never want your architecture to be tested but when it is and things come out like they did in this, aspect, we were very fortunate and very blessed,” added Qualls.
During the tornado, Qualls helped keep everyone in the building safe. He said he’ll have time to reflect on the chaotic situation later on.
“Time to reflect has not hit yet because we’ve just been so busy trying to get our kids back in the building and now finish up the year and celebrate the successes that we’ve had and how proud we are of our kids and staff,” said Qualls.
Jacksboro is a resilient community, rebuilding and pushing forward.
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