MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Muskegon Township residents say it's almost as if the powerful storm that hit Muskegon County Tuesday afternoon traveled right over Marquette Ave. in Muskegon Township.
The storm knocked over dozens of large trees, snapped utility poles and damage the roof of Orchard View School's Cardinal Elementary.
"It got dark and you could sense there was a storm coming," said Orchard View Schools Superintendent Jim Nielsen. "Certainly the hail was the thing that stood out."
Nielson and other school leaders were at Cardinal Elementary early Wednesday to begin efforts to prepare the building for students on Thursday.
But reopening the school depends on power restoration to a large section of Muskegon Township that includes every school building in the Orchard View School District, Muskegon Community College and Baker College Muskegon.
Nielsen says if power is restored early enough Wednesday evening classes will likely resume Thursday. However restoration times are unknown so staff, teachers and parents are asked to be on standby and watch for communication from the district Wednesday evening.
"Our hope is that we'll be back in session tomorrow," he said.
No students, staff or teachers were hurt when trees and large limbs fell on the school. The storm's powerful winds also peeled back a large section of the building's rubber roof allowing water inside damaging ceiling tiles, soaking carpet and flooding some rooms and hallways.
Nielsen says staff and teachers moved students to safe areas of the school as the storm passed.
"They all helped get students to safe places," he said. "As they practice every year several times."
Power remains out at Muskegon Community College and Baker College in Muskegon Township.
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