Freak storm hits classrooms, fencing at Aberdeen High in St Elizabeth

ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica - Classrooms, a tuck shop and perimeter fencing at the Aberdeen High School in northern St Elizabeth were extensively damaged during an apparent freak storm on Saturday.

Chairman of the school’s board Anthony Foster told OBSERVER ONLINE that the storm hit the school shortly after midday.

“The school was hit badly. Several damages to classrooms, offices, a tuck shop which was literally destroyed,” he said.

“The entire roof of the tuck shop went. After the roof went, a coconut tree fell on the tuck shop. Zinc travelled up to 1,000 metres,” he added.

He said the damaged classrooms, located on a block with the principal’s office, were constructed about four years ago.

He said utility lines are also down at the school following the freak storm.

“The driveway is blocked by several downed trees. The fencing on the northern and eastern sides have been damaged by downed trees,” he said.

Foster is grateful that the academic year came to an end on Friday.

“It is bad. Luckily school would have ended yesterday (Friday), so we are sad, but kind of in a way happy that we are not going to have classes on Monday, because maybe we wouldn’t even be in a position to have classes,” he explained.

He said the older buildings at the school are intact.

“One of the things I saw while I was touring today is that a door to one of the classrooms, the freak storm broke it into two pieces…a black tank would have moved from its position maybe to about 600 metres and only saved by the fencing,” he said.

He added that the school’s acting principal will be submitting a report to the Ministry of Education.

“We are hoping that we will have a speedy fix,” he said.

- Kasey Williams

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