Orrick takes break from tornado cleanup to celebrate graduation - KCTV5

Orrick takes break from tornado cleanup to celebrate graduation

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It has been more than a week since a tornado devastated the town of Orrick. But on Sunday, the town took a break from cleaning up to celebrate their newest group of graduates. It has been more than a week since a tornado devastated the town of Orrick. But on Sunday, the town took a break from cleaning up to celebrate their newest group of graduates.
ORRICK, MO (KCTV) -

It was just one week ago when a tornado took aim on a small community just east of Kansas City.

The storm destroyed homes, businesses and even the town's high school. The cleanup is far from over.

But Sunday, the people who live in Orrick took a break from all that clean up to congratulate the town's newest group of graduates.

The seniors walked across the stage in Excelsior Springs, about 15 miles away, because their own school was damaged so badly in the storm.

"After the tornado, I was expecting it to be kind of thrown together. It felt like something I would have been more comfortable doing in Orrick," Bryce Wheeler said. "But it was a really nice ceremony and it turned out really great."

Even though Wheeler and his classmates were thankful for the facility, they can't help but think something was missing.

"It was kind of bittersweet, because we were walking across the stage. But it wasn't our stage, it wasn't our school," Paiton Jones said.

But back in their hometown, the graduates celebrated right across the street from piles of debris.

It was the bittersweet conclusion of a stressful week in Orrick, but it gave the young men and women of the town a reason to celebrate.

"It's been great. Really just great. Everyone's been wonderful to me and my parents. I couldn't be more happy," Wheeler said.

The town is still cleaning up a lot of the debris, but it is now safe to drive through Orrick. The city has lifted the nightly curfew and restored power throughout the area.

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