Board members question earthquake readiness - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Board members question earthquake readiness

Bellevue Junior High is one of 300 buildings identified as at risk for severe damage when the New Madrid fault starts shaking. Action News 5 met up with Gary Brown, one of many parents who was surprised to hear this news.

Like many, Brown assumed the district had kept up on earthquake preparedness.

"By them knowing we're on this fault, they should have checked all the schools for that and any place people are having to deal with the public," he said.

Brown is not alone. School board members like Wanda Halbert were also startled.

"What goes through my head is 'how did it go this long without being noticed?'" she said.

A study put together by the University of Memphis more than ten years ago lists each school building, how it's built, and the percentage chance that it will be severely damaged in a quake.

Georgian Hills Elementary tops the list with a 74% chance of severe damage. Bellevue Junior High has a 58% chance of severe damage while Idlewild Elementary sits at 47%.

School Board member Sara Lewis was ready for action.

"Our schools are going to be impacted," she said. "Will they be used as shelters? We've got to have a comprehensive overview of what's going to happen."

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