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No injuries were reported Saturday night after a tornado severely damaged a South Carolina high school.
The tornado struck North Central High in Kershaw, about 55 miles southeast of Charlotte, as severe weather moved through the Carolinas.
The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office shared photos showing debris strewn throughout the school and buses that were blown into each other by the powerful wind. Images shared by the National Weather Service show twisted pieces of metal, collapsed walls and sections of a roof that were blown away.
The tornado that struck the high school in Kershaw was a “high-end” EF-2 with winds of about 130 mph, meteorologists with the National Weather Service’s Columbia, South Carolina, office said.
Kershaw County School District Executive Director Mary Anne Byrd said staff is still assessing the damage – but said she was thankful no one was hurt.
“It’s horrific,” Byrd told reporters in a video posed to the school’s Facebook page. ” It’s heartbreaking, but we are blessed. We’re blessed that there was no one on campus.”
It wasn’t immediately clear how long school would be disrupted, but the damage is extensive. The school said it would communicate with parents about when – and where – classes would resume.
In the meantime, the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office is asking people to steer clear of the property.
The National Weather Service had warned of the possibility of tornadoes as the storms moved through the Carolinas.
In western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina, power outages and wind damage were reported, according to the National Weather Service.
In the southeast, bad weather also hit Alabama and Georgia.
At least 11 people were killed in severe weather Saturday across the U.S., including three people who died during a tornado in Pickens County, Alabama.