Today Salyersville Grade School is a ghost town: broken windows, holes in the roof, a warning on the front door.
Let's go back five months to March 2. Cameras in the gym are rolling as an EF-3 tornado slams into the building. The school is empty, except for custodians Frank Muirell and Danny Summa. Cameras rolling catch them in the hallway. The storm hits. Muirell is sucked from the hall into the stairwell. From another view, you can see him slam against those stairs.
"It just happened so fast, I didn't realize what was going on," Muirell says.
It's tough to get him to talk about his close call.
"It felt like somebody pushed me a little is all."
He downplays that night. But Summa, Muirell's colleague, says it was no "little push"
"I was talking to frank and I told him it sounded like the roof was coming off. About that time, the door blew open and with it went Frank," Summa says.
He went in to help Muirell, and the two made it back to the hall.
"As long as Frank was alright, that's all that matters," Summa says.
Now, the 50 year veteran custodian is focused on helping 500 kids adjust to their new elementary school, at the old Magoffin County High School. Another year, with more challenges. But nothing, Muirell says, will come close to what he lived through that night.