Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster said he did not know what to expect when he arrived at Pleasant Hill Elementary.
Foster said it turned out to be a blessing that his county narrowly escaped tornado damage that could have been much worse. Foster said moments like this create pride in the way Cumberland County responds in an emergency.
“Their SRO and honestly him, teachers, faculty, staff, bus drivers, everybody on that location,” Foster said. “Everybody just did an absolutely outstanding job handling the situation. Buses were ready to pull out, they stopped them and kept the kids safe.”
Foster said when he arrived on scene it looked like the tornado had gone right over the top of the school, pulling out windows and causing roof damage. Foster said he commends the work of first responders and road crews who continued through the night to cut trees and clear roadways.
“We truly step up it’s the volunteer state but we’re the volunteer county,” Foster said. “I’ve been on scene where there’s just not public access because of all the dangerous situations but I’ve been on scene in those situations multiple times and the way our women and men step up would make every citizen of Cumberland County proud.”
Foster said that the response and volunteering does not stop just because an emergency might. He said he heard from residents looking to give back in any way they could.
“I had a text, first thing this morning from one of the local restaurants that asked if they could take food out there,” Foster said. “They were taking food out to the workers today. The community just steps up and has really got it done, so it is amazing to watch.”