Teachers and staff members rushed to Wilson School in Lauderdale County north of Florence on Friday afternoon after storms ripped through the area, causing damage to the school and surrounding neighborhoods.
The school building sustained damage to 10 classrooms, the bus storage building, the library and cafeteria, said Lauderdale County Schools Assistant Superintendant Tim Tubbs.
"We'll have a lot of work to be done to get it back in order before school starts," Tubbs said.
Awnings, roofs and siding were ripped from the school building as the storm passed through, officials said.
Tubbs said the bulk of the damage was sustained in an area where the building was already undergoing renovation. He said the area was being painted and getting other upgrades before the storm ripped the roof off, but now the area would need a considerable amount of work before school starts back this fall.
The rooms impacted were in the elementary area of the school. The room that sustained the most damage was the cheerleading room, Tubbs said. He said other areas of the school sustained roof damage that would not hurt the interior of the building.
Lauderdale County Schools Superintendant Bill Valentine said insurance adjusters and repair workers were already on their way to the school late Friday evening.
"Some of these storms, when they have this much energy available and dry air aloft, after they get severe they can keep building and once they collapse they can send down a large burst of air," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Kurt Weber.
That type of wind damage happens because wind comes straight down and then it collapses over the effected area, Weber said.
Around the county there was considerable damage, officials with Lauderdale County EMA said. Trees were downed on Natchez Trace Parkway near Lauderdale 8, a house was struck by lightning near Zip City, power lines caused a brush fire near Northington Court in Florence and power lines and trees were downed in east Florence.
Lauderdale County EMA Director George Grabryan said despite the damage, there were no injuries in Friday's round of storms.
"That is the bulk of the damage," Grabryan said. "I think we had a mobile home that sustained damage (near Lauderdale 17)."
Grabryan said the mobile home's roof was ripped off but there were no injuries.
Officials in Colbert County said they did not receive any reports of damage as of late Friday afternoon.
The storms that rolled through northern Lauderdale County came after a round of storms ripped through the Emerald Beach Marina in Killen on Thursday causing what officials said was a large amount of damage to boats and the marina area itself. Crews continued cleanup efforts at the marina late Friday afternoon.
Grabryan is urging Shoals-area residents to be weather aware throughout the weekend. He said the weather is expected to be severe in the afternoons all weekend because of the change in temperature around the storms.
Josh Skaggs can be reached at 256-740-5756 or email@example.com.