Harris County High School roof, gym damaged from storm - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Harris County High School roof, gym damaged from storm

Viewer submitted photo of Harris County High School damage (Source: Kenny) Viewer submitted photo of Harris County High School damage (Source: Kenny)
Harris County High School student observes damage to his jeep Wednesday afternoon. Harris County High School student observes damage to his jeep Wednesday afternoon.

HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) – All Harris County schools are closed for the rest of this week after a possible tornado tore through the area.  Strong winds ripped off part of the school's roof and smashed cars at the school parking lot. Schools will not re-open until after the Thanksgiving break.

Will Castleberry, a senior at Harris County High School, describes what it was like when what was possibly a tornado pounded the school grounds.

"The doors on the outside of the building started slamming open, and it was just like a suction cup and was sucking on us, and we ran back in the classroom and told them to come out in the hallway and get down," said Castleberry.   

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 November 16



Will's dad, Bill Castleberry, said the first thing he did when he saw his son after the storm was hug him.

"I'm proud of our school system truthfully because they knew what they were doing because there isn't a kid hurt here," said the father.

The storm pulled off parts of Harris County High School's roof causing water to leak into a common area of the school. 

The high winds also ripped off parts of the gymnasium's roof and left some of the school's athletic buildings almost bare. 

Many of the students found their cars beaten by debris.  The parking lot was littered with pieces of the school, and winds were even strong enough to bend light poles.

Assistant Principal Bryce Robinson said, "We prepare our kids, and we go through our monthly drills.  So as soon as we knew that it was coming, we starting hollering up and down the halls.  The kids knew exactly what to do.  They got in the hall.  They ducked their head and they were all safe."         

Robinson says the damage can be fixed, but it's a blessing that no students were injured.    

The Harris County Schools Superintendent agrees, commending the school on how well they handled the emergency.

Superintendent Craig Dowling said, "It showed the backbone and the team effort of Harris County, and it has been a good experience from that stand point."

School officials say they do not know the full extent of all the damage, but crews will be closely examining the school to make sure there isn't serious structural damage.      

Park Elementary and Harris County Middle School also reported damages.

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