Savannah school looks back on 10 years since tornado

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Wednesday was a normal school day for Savannah Christian Academy, but 10 years ago it was a different story.

“We had been at school. It had been kind of a crazy day at school,” Tracy Swift, a vice principal at the school, said. “The weather was bizarre.”

A tornado ultimately came through Savannah that day and destroyed the school buildings.

“Basically three of the buildings were totally demolished. The fourth building was gutted as well,” Brian Reid, school administrator, said.

The preschool, elementary school, middle school and church building were all separated by walkways before the tornado. Then they had to figure out how to still have school.

The school set up portable classrooms along a grassy area behind the current building until they could move in.

“I think there were nine or 10 portable buildings we were in for three years,” Reid said.

While waiting on the portables, they had class in a movie theater as well as local churches. But now, they look back and see it as an answer to prayers.

“We had been praying for three years for a new gym,” Swift said. “So God actually answered that prayer with a tornado. It was not what we had expected.”

Today, all 110 students are under one roof and they are looking forward to what the next 10 years hold.