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'The tornado was very close': Texas student describes high school lockdown

Courtesy of Hannah Dorsey

Instagram filters were used to process this image, taken by an iPhone.

Texans were active on a variety of social networks today, tracking and commenting on the tornadoes ripping through the Dallas area. On Instagram, the photography social network for iPhone, iPad and just released for Android, the hashtag #tornado was busy with pictures of tornado damage, funnel clouds, TV screens and self portraits ranging from goofy "oh no!" faces to genuine concern as they braced for the worst.

Several users posted pictures from schools where students and faculty gathered in hallways, locker rooms and maybe even a bathroom to try and stay safe from the storms. Hannah Dorsey's image, above, and her "Tornado lockdown..." caption caught my attention, so we asked her about the experience of having tornadoes near her school, Bishop Lynch High School, located in Dallas, Texas.

Hannah writes to msnbc.com:

"I was in third period doing assignments online for my class when the Dean of Students came over the intercom, issuing a tornado warning. He instructed us to quietly evacuate the classrooms to the nearest hallway or safe place and assume the safety procedures that we had practiced just yesterday.

My teacher followed us into the hallway and shut the door behind us. All the students sat along the walls with their faces turned towards the lockers, with hands over their heads. We were told to remain quiet and to listen for instructions. I was nervous but I knew we were safe. Our other Dean of Students entered my hallway and announced that the weather conditions were becoming increasingly worse and that the power will most likely go out. As he walked away murmurs arose and the teachers began to hush everyone, saying it would be fine. We sat there for about an hour after that. The lights flickered a few times but never went out and we did a few fun things to pass the time and keep everyone calm.

At one point we could see the rain through the window at the end of the hall and the rain was being blown hard enough to make it seem the rain was falling horizontally. We were given an update on the weather about every twenty minutes and were told that the tornado was very close, only a block or two over. We remained there until we were given the all-clear. Our principal told us to return to our third period class until we would be dismissed for fourth period.

Throughout the day we had a total of two evacuations, the second being very similar to the first. At the end of the day we were not allowed to leave the building unless our parents signed us out in the main office. Those who were driving themselves had to wait until the weather conditions were better. I was on lockdown until about 4:15."

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