MOORE, Okla. — Amy Simpson works hard to maintain her “happy face,” especially when she is around her students from Plaza Towers Elementary School.
It's been three months since one of the most destructive tornadoes on record cut a deadly swath through this Oklahoma City suburb, leveling Plaza and killing seven of its students. Simpson, the school’s principal, vows to be smiling and normal when the kids who survived the storm return to class for the first time on Friday.
"They want to see me happy. They want to see Mrs. Simpson OK,” she said.
But it’s not always OK.
Simpson, like many people here, is still haunted by the memories of what happened on May 20. She remembers the vibration of the ground as the EF5 tornado with winds in excess of 200 mph churned its way toward her school, flattening nearly everything in its wake. She remembers the terrified looks on the kids’ faces and fear in the teachers' eyes. And when it was finally over, she remembers climbing out of the tiny bathroom