Cleanup continues in Kershaw Co. after tornado nearly destroys high school

Cleanup continues in Kershaw Co. after a confirmed EF2 tornado tore through North Central High School Saturday night.

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) — Cleanup continues in Kershaw Co. after a confirmed EF2 tornado tore through North Central High School Saturday night. The National Weather Service confirmed the EF2 tornado on Sunday, reporting winds to have been an estimated 130 mph.

Even though the tornado nearly destroyed the school, it hit when all the buildings were empty. There were no storm-related injuries.

“It touched down on the football facilities side, and completely destroyed our concrete stadium. It worked its way through at an angle, moving kind of northeast, and it’s really damaged almost 100% of the rooftops,” said Shane Robbins, Kershaw Co. School District Superintendent.

“My overall reaction to this is just shock. It hits hard. This was like my second home, a lot of friends made,” said Tyler Faulkenberry, who just graduated from NCHS this past spring.

Almost all school buses were impacted by the storm.

“Really has implications on our middle school and our elementary schools as well, because our bus fleet got wiped out,” said Robbins.

The S.C. State Guard was even called to assist crews on scene.

“So every year it’s usually the hurricanes that we go and we help assist. And there’s damages everywhere, it looks horrible. So we are used to this. This is the first tornado in a long time that we’ve actually worked,” said Major Jason Ross, Battalion Commander with the State Guard.

For some, it’s shocking to see something they knew well now gone.

“For four years I was on that field, this field and in that gym. For four years. Seeing it like this sucks, it really does. Just so many good memories, and now there’s one big bad one,” said Faulkenberry.

The continuous rain has also left most of the building interior wet. As the water keeps seeping through, school officials say it’s going to take years to rebuild.

“I’d be very surprised if classes return here even next school year. Just because of the amount of damage. We’re almost in a situation where it’s a complete new construction,” said Robbins.

497 students attend NCHS. For now, classes will be resuming at the old Applied Technology Education Campus. The hope is for them to start there on Wednesday.

 

Categories: Kershaw, Local News, News, State