Students return to school damaged by weekend tornado

Updated:

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga.,None - Some metro area students heading to school Monday morning found classrooms damaged by Friday night’s F-3 tornado.

The tornado carved a 29-mile path of destruction and has been blamed for the death of a woman in Alpharetta.

Poole Elementary School in Dallas suffered severe damage from the same tornado. Seven classrooms and some offices were damaged. 

A hallway with large holes in the ceiling has been deemed unusable, but a crew of more than 100 spent the weekend cleaning up the rest of the school so it would be ready for students on Monday morning.



“We are going to be fine. It’s going to be school as usual. We are going to go back to learning, and that’s the most important thing,” teacher Anna Carter said.

Parents said they were concerned about their children's education.

"When it first happened, we thought, 'Oh my gosh. Where are they going to send our kids? Are they going to split classes, send them to different schools, maybe?'" parent Jonathon Paris said.

Fortunately for students, that was not the case.

Superintendent Cliff Cole said the tornado only struck one wing of the school, making the rest of the school available for use.

"The structural engineer had been here on Saturday to verify the structure of the building was safe," Cole said.

Cole said attendance was normal on Monday.

Officials said of 160 Paulding County homes damaged, nine suffered extensive damage.

The Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport also took a direct hit. Several planes were damaged and a hangar collapsed. The airport has been closed indefinitely.

Repairs began Monday at the Wayside Baptist Church, which was also hit hard by the F-3 tornado. The storm tore down the church’s steeple and damaged the roof of the main sanctuary.

The National Weather Service also confirmed that an F-1 tornado caused damage in Cobb County and an F-3 struck Haralson County.