"They are in shock," Simpson said, suggesting that the only thing on most people's minds now was saving people from the rubble.
Simpson explained that the 2,000-student high school was destroyed—a campus about the same size as Lindbergh High School.
Two elementary schools were destroyed.
The district central administration offices were destroyed.
The vocational school was destroyed.
"What school district could sustain such a blow, and be ready for school in August? It's mind boggling," Simpson said.
He said the Joplin district was hoping to account for students and staff—and whether anyone was hurt—through Facebook and email. No other systems were available, except word of mouth.
"I think there is going to be quite a bit of sadness, after the list is out—the list of fatalities," Simpson said, pausing a moment.
Later, Simpson suggested that other school districts would likely take students aboard in August if necessary, saying Lindbergh was probably too far away for that. But he hoped districts around the state might be able to help in some fashion.
"They may need textbooks," Simpson cited as an example.
The schools destroyed by the tornado serve 3,000 students during the week, Simpson said. He suggested it was "unthinkable" if school had been in session when the storm struck.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Joplin tornado a nightmare for former Superintendent Simpson
has been horrified by the news reports he is getting of the devastation in Joplin: