Lennox High School assesses damage after Saturday’s tornado

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Saturday’s severe weather produced heavy rain, sizable hail, and even an EF-1 tornado in Lennox.

“Water pouring in here and over in our shops, into the hallways,” Lennox Superintendent Chad Conaway said.

Saturday’s storm left its mark on Lennox High School.

“When I arrived we had water pouring into the music room and you could visibly see that rubber membrane was torn off the roof,” Conaway said.

“Pictures and video just don’t do justice, pretty shocked, was not expecting that amount of damage,” Director of Building and Grounds Maintenance Alex Jorgensen said.

The music room now sits empty and wet. Pieces of ceiling tile litter the floor. Sunshine spills into the shop through a missing roof vent, which currently tops Alex Jorgensen’s list of concerns.

“Definitely what’s behind me, having an open roof with more rain in the forecast,” Jorgensen said.

“We had such a dry summer and here we are with rain in the forecast all week and of course we need a roof back on otherwise we’re just going to keep cleaning up water,” Conaway said.

As crews race to put a temporary fix on the roof, power was restored inside Sunday night, more than 24 hours after the storm.

“Now it’s assessing the damage inside, whether we’re going to have HVAC issues, is our lighting going to work in those areas, have a ton of ceiling tile to replace and of course we have a roof to replace now too,” Conaway said.

With the rubber membrane of the roof missing, water poured into portions of the building leaving two to three inches of water in this hallway.

“We had a lot of volunteers and folks that stepped up, came in and helped us get things dried out and they continue to work on that today,” Conaway said.

“Everybody just piled in, volunteered their time and it was just pretty awesome to see everybody come together and just take care of everything,” Jorgensen said.

Students will be back in school Tuesday, but the band will have to relocate within the school, while shop class will likely be outdoors until the roof is fixed.

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