The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 12, 2014

Blue Springs, Clements storm damage estimated at $500K

— Limestone school officials are estimating the April 28 storms caused approximately $500,000 in damage to Blue Springs Elementary School and Clements High School.

Both schools remained closed from midday April 28 — the day EF3 twisters roared through Limestone County, killing two people and damaging 747 homes — until reopening May 5.

Limestone Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk said the schools did not sustain enough damage to prevent reopening, but power was not restored to Blue Springs and Clements until last Tuesday after 16,000 Athens Utilities customers initially lost power on April 28.

School officials said the Blue Springs roof sprung leaks and will need to be replaced at an estimated cost of $250,000.

The tornadoes also completely ripped off the football field house roof, knocked down fencing and tore down awnings at Clements.

Sisk said in addition to the structural issues, the school system is addressing unbudgeted expenses triggered by the storms. Both schools needed generator power during the outage, ensuring cafeteria freezer items would not spoil, and Blue Springs served as a disaster relief hub.

“We had inside flooding that had to be dried out by ServPro at Blue Springs, and we had a host of items that caused us to incur expenses,” Sisk said. “For example, we fueled up generators so we could power up the building, and this fuel was not in the budget.”

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