GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. — High winds tore part of the roof off a Greene County elementary school and sent metal debris flying through the parking lot on Wednesday.
No one was hurt, but Camp Creek Elementary School was dismissed at 11:30 a.m. with no bus service after the high winds.
Director of Schools David McLain said 60 to 70 mph wind gusts blew the entire rubber top part of the gym roof off the school.
"About 9:20 we had a large gust come through," Dennis Wilds, the school's principal, said. "We heard a loud popping noise."
Pieces of the roof almost covered up the main entrance to the school.
"My immediate thought was 'were kids in the gym, are they safe?'" Wilds said. "My faculty and staff was great. They jumped right into action, they knew what to do."
But Principal Wilds wasn't done worrying yet.
"My next step was to evacuate classrooms nearby and shut that area of the school off," he told 10News.
The winds kept blowing throughout the day and that made it too dangerous to fix the roof.
"They're calling for rain this evening, so is unsafe for them to be up there today. So they're just trying to protect it until they can get up there and fix it," he said.
The gym is covered in thick plastic sheets, preparing for the rain to come through holes in the ceiling.
Principal Wilds said Thursday there was a break in the weather and crews were able to put a tarp up on the roof to prevent further damage.
Wednesday's wind storm removed roofing material and some of the vents from the roof. They had a roofing company and school system maintenance there soon after the incident, Wilds said.
They laid tarps on the gym floor because of the pending heavy rain overnight. It rained and the tarps caught a lot of it. Wilds said there was standing water in there Thursday but crews were able to use a break in the weather to tarp the roof and get more materials up to start repairs.
Once it's all up there, Wilds said crews will pump out the water from the floor tarps and remove them to assess the damage.
Wilds did not know how long it would take to finish repairs but anticipated it taking at least a week to four weeks.