photo61 Tornado Damaged Elementary School Reopens

(credit: Jane Slater/KRLD)

FORNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Drop-off Monday morning at Crosby Elementary School had a festive atmosphere. Students were welcomed back to the campus with hugs and high-fives. It was their first time back at the campus since a tornado hit the area last Tuesday.

Sanreaches Johnson’s daughter, Breayanna, is in the third grade and has been apprehensive since the tornado hit.

“At the time when it hit they were in the library and a lot of the children were pretty shaken and rattled. Especially after,” she said.

Last week’s storms broke out windows, tore off portions of the roof and damaged several air conditioning units on the campus, but no one was hurt.

Counselors were on hand Monday for any student who needs to talk.

Forney is one of the cities hardest hit by the tornadoes last week, and many of the students returning also have damaged homes.

Directly across the street from the school in the Diamond Creek neighborhood, several houses have boarded up windows, noticeable damage to their exteriors and tarps over many roofs.

Roofing signs dot the community.

“If you look at the house down there, the house got lifted up and the garden hose is actually underneath the house,” said resident Bill Hedges, who lives just two doors down from that house.

Johnson and other parents say they have tried to calm their children’s fears and believe going back to school will be good for the students.

“I think once they see their friends and they all come together, I think they’re going to okay because children have a way of helping one another out,” said Johnson. “Being at home, being away from each other, they kind of wonder and worry.”

Officially, only seven injuries were reported in Forney and none of them were life threatening.

Last week Mayor Darren Rozell signed local papers to declare the city a disaster area.

“Oh, they’ll remember this forever,” Hedges said, “especially in a small town like this.”

1080 KRLD’s Phyllis Smith contributed to this report.

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