DALLAS – Thunderstorms and possible tornadoes that ripped through North Texas on Monday yanked the roof away from a school gym in the Jacksboro Independent School District.
Superintendent Brad Burnett told KDFW that the district’s elementary and high school campuses received “substantial” damage, including collapsed walls.
Video shows a large hole in the roof of the high school’s gym and debris scattered on the court. Light fixtures, ripped banners and wires were seen hanging from what’s left of the roof.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” high school principal Starla Sanders told WFAA-TV in Dallas.
Students and teachers were in storm shelters when the storm passed through, Burnett said, adding that there were no reports of injuries.
“They (the storm shelters) functioned the way they were designed,” he said. “We feel very blessed.”
A cafeteria, the football stadium and the agriculture building were also damaged. School was canceled for the rest of the week, KDFW reported.
According to KDFW, the National Weather Service reported a radar-confirmed tornado in Jack County just before 4 p.m.
The storm also struck the city’s animal shelter, but the amount of damage wasn’t immediately clear.
Elsewhere in Texas, at least four people were injured in Tuesday’s storms.
Thirty miles northeast of Jacksboro, near Bowie, damage also was reportedly widespread with reports of some people trapped in collapsed structures. City manager Bert Cunningham said the worst damage was east of the town, with as many as four entrapments reported. Four people suffered minor injuries, said Emergency Manager Kelly McNabb.
A storm system had been predicted to bring strong tornadoes and large hail to parts of Texas on Monday, then move toward the Deep South, where forecasters warned a severe weather outbreak was possible Tuesday.
So far, there was only one tornado reported in the San Antonio area, and that was in Guadalupe County. It impacted Kingsbury and Luling.
Parts of central and east Texas, especially the Austin and College Station areas, also saw severe storms reported as tornadoes, the National Weather Service said. Photographs posted on social media showed damage to buildings in the Austin suburbs of Round Rock and Elgin. No injuries were immediately reported.