Schools close early in anticipation of Friday storms

Many Mid-South schools closed early Friday in anticipation of the severe weather.

Though it was unusual for schools to close in advance of a storm system like this, the warnings were coming fast enough that school systems in our area were taking no chances.

Germantown Elementary was the same, and the process was great practice for a region that deals with this danger often.

Outside Germantown Elementary, parents and grandparents rushed to pick up children, as increasingly ominous skies threatened.

Sandra Baker picked up her 7 year-old grandson moments after the sirens stopped. "About that time, I was in the closet cause the sirens were going off, but I got up here as soon as I could," she said.

Germantown Elementary was like every other Shelby County School. Here, school staff mobilized, and moved children quickly and without incident. The school set up tables in the hallways to meet parents as they came, to sign out children.

Parents who showed up were invited to participate in ongoing drills. With more than 600 children, Principal Brenda Bluestein said the process worked just as it should have.

"I did feel relieved when those sirens went off," she said, "but the children are all safe and even had this been real, I feel like we did everything that was in our plan.">

Teachers vowed to remain until the last child was released.

Memphis and Shelby County schools announced closings at lunchtime. Schools all over the viewing area did the same thing, choosing to avoid the risk of bussing children through the thick of things.