Kershaw Co. community standing strong after severe weather damages North Central High School

tornado damage in kershaw county

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A twister hit Kershaw County on Jan. 11, leaving North Central High School damaged Saturday night.

Roofs collapsed in, light posts snapped in half and cement football bleachers crumbled under the power of 130 mph winds on the school’s campus.

For people in the rural community of Westville, they were shocked to see North Central High shattered to pieces overnight. Many in the community have seen multiple generations of their families walk through the halls of the school.

Cars were lined along Lockhart Road outside the school, as people stopped by to see firsthand, the unimaginable damage the school had suffered.

“It’s devastating, just Friday I parked my bus not knowing it was going to be destroyed,” Susan Brown, a bus driver for the district said.

The twister moved four school buses and damaged up to 30 other buses in the parking lot. It also damaged the gymnasium lifting all of the heating and air condition units off the roof.

Despite the destruction, the school community is focused on the obvious positive.

No one was in the school overnight Saturday, when the twister touched down, and no one was hurt.

“That’s the best thing that happened is that no one got hurt,” Brown said.

Kershaw County School District administrators now have the task of picking up the pieces, but a symbol of strength and unity stands at the forefront.

The North Central High School Knight, the school’s mascot, stands strong and tall amid the debris.

School officials say the knight statue was inside the school when it was hit with severe weather, but they decided to move it outside to show that North Central High School will stand strong through this.

Kershaw County School District says that students were already scheduled to be out of school Jan. 13-14. Students will be relocated to an empty vocational school Wednesday.

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