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    Morley Stanwood school board hit with tornado warning during their monthly meeting

    By Jodi Miesen, Jacob Johnson,


    A Northern Michigan school board meeting was interrupted Monday when a tornado warning was issued for Mecosta County.

    The storm came as the Morley Stanwood Community Schools board of education held their monthly meeting.

    “We were in the library there in the high school and about 6:45 the power flickered, flickered, went off, and the emergency lights came on. And we talked and we thought, ‘That’s not a big deal,’” said superintendent Roger Cole.

    That was until their phones started blowing up with notifications.

    “Shortly after that, the wind and rain picked up. Incredible. You couldn’t see out the window. It was blowing like I’ve not seen very often. And at 7:04, everybody’s phone in the room went off with a tornado warning.”

    Board members, along with some community members, all huddled in an inside hallway for about 20 minutes until it was safe to come out. Cole says the emergency alert system worked the way it was intended.

    “Without that, we would would not have known. We would have just assumed it was a good thunderstorm coming through. So it was definitely worth having.”

    Mecosta County emergency manager Patrick Maddox says these alerts are essential to keep people safe.

    “Time is essential and seconds matters, so when these alerts go out it’s critical that action happens right away,” said Maddox.

    He also says it’s important to prepare for emergencies.

    “Have a go-kit, know where your shelter is. Have your vehicle always fueled up, always ready to go...Even if you live in some of the mobile home parks,” he added, “they may have designated shelter areas. So make sure that you know what those are ahead of time.”

    Superintendent Cole says they were forced to take their last “snow day” because of the lack of power. This is also their last week of school, so Cole hopes they can finish without any more disruptions.

    The district used the day off Tuesday to clean up from the storm and repair minor damage to the school.

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