It was definitely a scary moment for these 45 girls, and their two chaperones traveling back to Shoals High School from a young women’s lead conference Thursday when they encountered a tornado warning.
A DuBois County Tires employee says it was almost a blessing that the group’s bus pulled into their shop to seek shelter.
“We needed to take shelter, and we were just at DuBois County Tire at the stop light,” says Shoals High School teacher Audrey Gibson.
“The sirens went off and I came up to the front door to kind of see what was going on, and we saw the school bus pull in,” says Dubois County Tire employee Shanna Cook.
Forty-five students from Shoals High School are breathing a deep sigh of relief, and gratitude.
As the Tri-State was facing severe weather and tornadoes, Shoals High School officials had to make a quick call.
Luckily DuBois County Tires opened their doors to the group traveling back to school from a field trip.
“I was like, absolutely! So here come 45 girls just piling off the bus… never thought it would ever end the amount of girls, but you know they came in, two chaperones, and a school bus driver,” says Cook.
“They were fixing tires, and carrying on business,” says Gibson.
“So we walked in, I think they were a little surprised to see that many high school girls.”
The weather outside was harsh.
“They moved us away from the windows, and made sure that we were all safe,” says Hert.
But inside these students found comfort thanks to strangers, and friends.
“Some of the girls were having some anxiety, and panic attacks being away from their peers that were left here at school. But when they were together on the bus the ones that were anxious calmed each other,” says Shoals High School Guidance Counselor Jessica Hert.
“Almost every single of them thanked us for accommodating them and just taking good care of them, and everything so it was a great experience. Glad we were here for it,” says Cook.
And the thanks won’t stop there.
“We were very grateful for DuBois County Tires, and so we had the girls sign a thank you card for DuBois County Tires that we plan to hand deliver to them, and express our gratitude for them,” says Hert.
School officials say it was a scary situation, but they are very thankful to DuBois County Tire for their hospitality. They also say they are proud of the students for the way they represented themselves, and Shoals High School.