East Texas school damaged in Monday morning storm - KCTV5 News

East Texas school damaged in Monday morning storm

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RED RIVER COUNTY, TX (KSLA) -

Strong storms rolled through the ArkLaTex early Monday morning, and for most of us, there was thunder and heavy rain.

But over in Red River County, TX, they took quite a hit.

Around 8:30 a.m. the KSLA radar showed a storm moving through Red River County, and it caught employees at a local school by surprise.

"It got really dark and probably about in 30 seconds we look outside and we could see the funnel off in a distance," said Daniel Pritchett, principal at Avery High School.

Pritchett and others were in a training meeting inside the cafeteria when the storm blew in.

"We went into the hallway and retreated," Pritchett said. "We stayed there 3 or 4 minutes and we came back out. At that point, everything had passed."

And it left behind damage across this small town school campus.

"We had quite a bit of damage on the outside, baseball field, gymnasium and various debris," said Kelly Burns, Avery ISD superintendent.

"Burns said they are still accessing the damages. There were no students on campus since Monday marked the first day of summer vacation.

"Always count your blessings and I'm glad kids weren't here and all my personnel safe and secure," Burns said.

And instead of summer stories from those more than 400 students when they return back to school in the fall, it will be the staff giving their tale of what happened during the summer break.

"No one was screaming, no one was really panicking," Pritchett said. "There was that instant fear whenever we saw the funnel and yelled 'Tornado!' and went into the hallway. At that point, everyone was pretty calm and collected."

Although the National Weather Service received reports of a funnel cloud, they have not confirmed any reports of a tornado.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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