Schools across the region are double-checking their severe weather warning policies after a News 6 report. Students and teachers at Penderlea Elementary School in Pender County apparently never knew a tornado was just minutes away Tuesday, despite warnings broadcast by the National Weather Service.
State regulations require each school to have a NWS weather radio. When a tornado is in the area, it sounds a loud, impossible-to-ignore alarm. News 6 has learned that Penderlea, as well as several other schools and at the county's school headquarters, the radios did not work.
Penderlea is a year-round school located close to where damage was reported after a tornado toppled trees and knocked down power lines. Students at Penderlea never took cover because they did not know about the storm.
Evidently, the school's weather radio was not working. School officials and superintendent, Dr. Marc Sosne, are making the necessary changes to ensure radios at every school in Pender County are working.
The incident also alarmed New Hanover and Brunswick County officials. Both school systems in those counties have radios in every school and check them once a week.