JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – It’s being called the “Prep-Nami” of 2016, nearly 20,000 gallons of water gushing out onto a Mississippi school’s gym floor.
Thankfully no one was seriously injured, and now students are using the incident as a learning experience inside the classroom.
“I was standing next to the head of school and I said, we’ve got to get out of here,” J-Prep Chief Diversity Officer, Adam Mangana explained. “I grabbed him, and that’s when the deluge hit us right in the back as we were running out and kind of threw our bodies right out of the door.”
It happened in an instant – water crashing through the ceiling of a Jackson Prep hallway, then gushing out the door taking everything, including people with it.
“To be honest, I know we deal with a lot of flooding in Mississippi but I had never seen that kind of force, the power of Mother Nature and just the force of the water,” Mangana explained. “It was like we dropped a pool of water in the middle of a building.”
The incident happened last night as Adam Mangana and staff along with a few students worked to get water off the floor following Monday night’s round of severe weather.
“After that water hit, the ceiling debris was all over our clothes, we were completely soaked,” Mangana said. “That force of that water hit us and kind of slid us up to the top of space, the room was completely full.”
The ceiling caving in wasn’t all bad, Head of School Jason Walton says one Prep engineering class took the incident to the classroom.
“Looking at the area of the gym floor and the amount of water that was standing, they’ve made some calculations on just how many gallons of water and what kind of force that was,” Walton said.
Numbers calculated in a class taught by Marsha Hobbs class suggest, there were 18,700 gallons of water that poured onto the gym floor at a rate of 31 feet per second.
“We were very lucky that it happened after hours, very lucky that most of our students weren’t here. Very fortunate that we had the presence of mind to get our students away from the area-those who were left on campus,” Walton said.
Walton tells us at this time estimates on the roof damage have not been made.
They are expecting to see an insurance adjuster sometime this week.