High winds rip roof from Barry County school; students safely evacuated

Barry Co. school evacuated after roof is blown off

WOODLAND TOWNSHIP, MICH. - A school in Barry County evacuated because of strong winds ripped off a section of the building's roof.

"There was no collapse, structurally. You've got basically this rubber top layer, the wind caught it and pulled it off," Lakewood Public Schools Superintendent Randy Fleenor said.

School officials said that students at Lakewood Early Childhood Center in Barry County are being moved to a different school district building in the meantime.

"Initially we went into a tornado drill, the kids were used to that they did a great job, so we immediately secured the facility," Fleenor said.

No one was hurt.

"We're going to assess the facility over the next 24 hours and then make a decision about what we're going to do about classes for Friday," Fleenor said.

Fleenor said they've sent emails and social media messages to parents to keep them in the loop.  But school will be closed on Thursday.

Thousands have been left without power because of winds gusting in excess of 40-45 mph -- the highest was reported at 64 mph at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. More than 25,000 customers have lost power in Kent County and given the number of outages, it could be hours before power is restored. 

A high wind warning is in effect until 7 p.m. for most of West Michigan.

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

 

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