Fayetteville school sustained $4.5M in damage from storms

Posted April 19, 2011 5:10 a.m. EDT
Updated April 19, 2011 10:50 p.m. EDT

— Officials at Ben Martin Elementary School in Fayetteville said the school sustained $4.5 million in damages during severe weather on Saturday that brought tornadoes, high winds and hail to central and eastern North Carolina. 

Parts of the roof were ripped clean off at the Reilly Road K-5 school and debris littered the grounds.

District leaders hosted meeting for parents at Westover High School on Tuesday to provide an update on when the school might reopen and how more than 600 students will be accommodated in the meantime.

Leaders said the school lost $700,000 in supplies. 

In two weeks, leaders said they will start demolishing what is left of the school and begin the rebuilding process, which is expected to take until December 2012. 

Students were asked to report to E.E. Miller Elementary School, 1361 Rim Road,  Wednesday through Friday. 

After next week's Spring Break, students will attend classes at the Ramsey Street Alternative School and another school for the remainder of the year. 

Pine Forest High School, at 525 Andrews Road in Fayetteville, was also damaged by the tornado, but the building was open to students and teachers Tuesday.

Residents in Cumberland County were starting to feel the emotional toll of Saturday's storms. 

"It is depressing. It is sad. It is hurtful,” storm victim Sheryl Dox said Tuesday. 

Dox said she cries a lot and can’t eat or sleep.

Claudio Ramirez is just grateful that he was not sleeping in his Cliffbourne Drive home when the storm hit. The storm sent a tree crashing through his bedroom.

“The wall is completely gone and a tree where my head would have gone,” Ramirez said.

Fort Bragg also took a hit in the storm. The base's Knox Street warehouse saw most of the damage. 

Raleigh colleges deal with damage

Students at St. Augustine's College were asked to report to class Tuesday, three days after severe storms rocked the downtown Raleigh campus, but some say the cleanup is not complete.

Students told WRAL News that trees, power lines and broken glass litter the campus, and some dormitories are without power.

Bianca Pass said there has been little communication from school leaders. "Nobody knows what's going on," she said.

"We're going to class, and you can't even enter the campus. That's ridiculous," she said.

Students said that in addition to problems in the residence halls, the cafeteria and library aren't fully functional.

At Shaw University, at 118 E. South St. in Raleigh, classes are suspended for the duration of the semester due to damage sustained on and around campus. Part of the student center's roof was torn off, trees were uprooted and windows were blown out of several buildings.

YouTube video: Shaw University students experience tornado

University athletics will continue as scheduled, and the university said Tuesday that faculty will work with students who still need to complete exams.

Camp Lejeune students transfer

Tarawa Terrace 1 Primary School at Camp Lejeune has also closed for the rest of the school year, a U.S. Marines spokesman said Monday. All students will be accommodated at Tarawa Terrace 2 Elementary School and should report Thursday morning.

There will be meetings for Tarawa Terrace 1 Primary School parents Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Tarawa Terrace 2 Elementary School parents Wednesday at 2:15 p.m.