The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 3, 2014

City schools escape major storm damage; students countywide pitch in

By Kim West

— The seven schools in the city school system evaded significant damage from Monday’s storms despite the slew of fallen trees and utility poles in Athens.

Athens Intermediate School, which is located on U.S. 72 about 10 miles east of the hard-hit Coxey community, had a few damaged shingles but no structural issues.

AIS and Athens Elementary School, near the northern portion of the city with heavy damage to residences and vehicles, did not have Internet access when the school system resumed classes Wednesday.

City schools dismissed early Monday and canceled classes Tuesday due to power outages and road closures.

“Several of the schools lost power Monday night but no other damage or food loss (occurred),” school spokesman Terry Roller said.

The central office on U.S. 31 went without power from Monday evening until about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Central Church of Christ, which is directly across from the school system headquarters, served this week as the designated Red Cross shelter for displaced residents.

In addition to large amounts of locally donated items, the church received a truckload of new shoes, wheelbarrows, kitchen furniture, food and toiletries for storm victims from its home office in Nashville.

Athens High football players were among the students helping at the shelter, helping unload supplies on Thursday.

Students from all six county high schools also joined in the tornado recovery effort, helping to clear debris and organize supply drives.