Orrick High School graduation will go on despite tornado - KCTV5 News

Orrick High School graduation will go on despite tornado

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By early Sunday, the Orrick High School website had already posted a "huge thank you to everyone who has sent us offers of help and prayers." (Erika Tallan/KCTV5 News) By early Sunday, the Orrick High School website had already posted a "huge thank you to everyone who has sent us offers of help and prayers." (Erika Tallan/KCTV5 News)
ORRICK, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Residents in a small northwest Missouri town hit by an EF2 tornado are assessing damage and rescheduling events, like next week's high school graduation.

The tornado hit the town of Orrick on Saturday evening, ripping up trees and yanking roofs off homes and other buildings. No injuries were reported in the town of about 800 residents located about 25 miles northeast of Kansas City.

One of the places feeling the most devastation is the town's elementary and high school. It was one of the places hardest hit, and it is affecting how the rest of the school year plays out.

The damage at Orrick High School goes beyond all the debris on the ground, many of the buildings have heavy roof damage. That is causing a big change of plans for both students and staff.

"It is really sad. I've been here since preschool, so it is just kind of crazy to look at it and see it's all gone as of right now," senior John Moore.

Moore is having a hard time seeing his school damaged from the tornado. He considers it a second home.

"We have extensive damage through the whole building," said Aerin O'Dell, superintendent of Orrick Public School.

O'Dell said they have received a lot of help from the community and surrounding areas. By early Sunday, the Orrick High School website had already posted a "huge thank you to everyone who has sent us offers of help and prayers."

"That has been very appreciated," she said.

Both the elementary and high school, which stand side-by-side, were hit. School administrators have canceled Monday and Tuesday classes.

"As we figure out whether there are portions of the building we can still have classes with all of our students. Not sure if that's going to happen or not, but we will look at the damage and where we might be able to house our kids and go from there," O'Dell said.

The damage is hitting seniors the hardest. With all the mess, they can't have their graduation ceremony at the school.

"I hate that for them. I think they are disappointed, as well. But I think they understand that it is out of our control. Our gym, it is just not going to be able to have a graduation ceremony in seven days. It is just not possible," O'Dell said.

The high school graduation, however, will go on. Orrick's May 18 ceremony will be held next Sunday afternoon at Excelsior Springs High School, about 15 miles north

"I can't really imagine going to graduate somewhere else, but then again, I'm ready to get out," Moore said.

It wasn't the way Moore imagined saying goodbye to high school, but he is fortunate he'll still have all his classmates to share it with. They all made it through the storm.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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