WESTVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - As severe weather swept through the Midlands on Saturday night, one school in Kershaw County was hit directly by a tornado.
The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed North Central High School was heavily damaged by an EF-2 tornado.
The damage is so severe, students will not be returning to the school anytime soon. (Story continues after video.)
Students were already scheduled to be out of school on Monday and Tuesday because of teacher professional workdays, a district spokeswoman said.
Sunday, Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins said the students will go to class Wednesday. The district is relocating them to a vocational school that is currently empty. The building is about a 15 to 20 minute drive from North Central, Robbins said.
School officials said it’s possible the North Central will not reopen for the rest of the year because of the extent of repairs needed.
NWS estimates the winds of the tornado were around 130 mph. The path and length of the tornado have not been determined.
Walls of the school caved in, parts of the roof were ripped off and school buses were tossed into each other in the parking lot. (Story continues below picture gallery.)
Thankfully, no one was in the school at the time of the storm, the Sheriff’s Office said, and no injuries have been reported.
Deputies said the public should not go on school property until they can make the area safe. They shared the following statement on social media:
"MAJOR WEATHER DAMAGE AT NCHS
We received severe weather last night that left major damage to North Central High School. We are very thankful this storm did not hit while our children were in school. No storm related injuries have been reported as of this time.
We are asking for all spectators to stay off North Central High School property until qualified personnel can complete their assessments and make the area safe and secure. KCSO deputies will be patrolling the property.
North Central High School may be closed for a period of time. Please follow Kershaw County School District’s page for updates on when students may return to school."
Gov. Henry McMaster issued a statement on Twitter regarding the damage saying: