Thursday, November 14, 2019
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EF1 tornado blows school roof into teacher's yard

A small tornado was sighted Sunday at about 9 PM in Chicago’s far-northwestern suburbs. It caused some property damage, notably to the roof of Grayslake Central High School, parts of which ended up in the front yard of the school’s choir director, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Damage caused by a tornado in Rochelle, Ill., April 2015 (Ashley Diener via Flickr Creative Commons)

“I was in the front room watching TV, and then it was all fast—the power was flickering, and I saw something dark. I thought we had a tornado coming for our house,” the paper quoted Jenny White, a music teacher at the school, as saying. “I yelled at our daughter to go downstairs, and I turned around in the kitchen, and I saw this big black thing.”

Using drones, Sky’s The Limit Dronography recorded some footage from Grayslake, including an apparent flyover of the high school, and published it on YouTube:

The National Weather Service has confirmed at least one tornado touched down in Grayslake, but officials were still working to size up the strength as of our publication date.

Fortunately for students and staff at the high school, the roof was built in layers, and only the top layer came off. “We’re already into cleanup,” the Tribune quoted District 127 Superintendent Catherine Finger as saying. “There is not a drop of water in the building. We’re going to be ready to roll. This is not going to stop us from opening school on time.”

First day of school: Thursday, Aug 13. That’s still the plan, according to the school’s website: “We remain confident that we will be ready to start another great year together when we welcome students back to school as scheduled,” Ms Finger wrote.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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