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Story and photo by Trey Martin

Beginning Wednesday afternoon and lasting through Thursday morning, violent storms will be heading through the Southeast. The weather prompted District Five, as well as other districts around the midlands, to release students from school early.

Elementary, middle and high schools each use the same busses, so schools are dismissed at altering times throughout the day. Dutch Fork will be released at 12:45, which is just before severe weather is expected to hit the area.

The storms bring the threat of tornadoes throughout the region, something that the midlands is not used to.

The signs of a tornado include a dark sky, hail, a low cloud and loud noises due to wind. Tornadoes can strike quickly, with winds between 30 to 70 miles per hour.

If a tornado hits while in your home, seek shelter in a room or closet at the middle of the house on the lowest floor. The room should have no windows in case of flying debris. If in a mobile home, leave immediately and seek shelter in a more structured area, as mobile homes offer little to no protection from tornados.

If you are outside with no transportation, find the lowest plain possible in the area. Lie down with your arms protecting your head. If you are in a car, park and cover your face as well. Do not try to outrun the tornado, and do not park underneath an overpass or bridge, as you are safer in a low, flat location.

The weather has cancelled all after school events, as well as moving sporting events to different times and dates. For more information about what to do during a tornado or how to prepare for one, go to https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes