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Thursday September 20, 2018

roof ripped off nphs in storm

Friday, June 23, 2017 16:49 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

The sky can be seen from inside four classrooms because of a brief yet powerful Friday morning storm taking off part of the roof at a LaPorte County school.

New Prairie Schools superintendent Dr. Paul White estimated the winds lasting anywhere from 90 seconds to a couple of minutes had to approach 100 mph. to cause extensive damage to a roof put on just last year.

''Those winds tore off a quarter second of roof on the southwest corner of our high school,'' said White, who couldn't help but speculate that maybe a tornado was responsible.

He said about 30 percent of each of the classrooms on the southwest corner of the building face Cougar Rd. no longer had cover.

''You can see the sky,'' said White.

The brief storm hit about 7 a.m.

Pat Stepanek of LaPorte reported seeing three funnel clouds on the city's east side.

''The clouds were swirling,'' he said.

Christopher Roller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Syracuse, Ind., said there were indications on radar of activity in the LaPorte area that could produce strong winds.

But, there was no conclusive evidence of a tornado or winds speeds needed to cause the type of extensive damage the school had sustained, he said.

LaPorte County sheriff John Boyd said there were no other reports of damage.

White said it's too early to know how much fixing the roof is going to cost, but he is concerned whether the repairs can be made before the August 9 start of the fall semester.

If not, students in those classrooms would have to moved elsewhere within the school

There was lesser damage from flying debris cracking the thick glass entranceway to the indoor swimming pool along with wet carpeting in exposed areas of the classrooms.
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