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Camden Picks Up the Pieces After the Storm

CAMDEN -- People are still cleaning up after strong winds damaged the high school Thursday night. Students return to classes today.
CAMDEN, AR -- People in Camden are still picking up the pieces after strong winds destroyed homes and damaged the high school Thursday night.  Camden Fairview High School students will be going back to school Monday after being closed on Friday.  The superintendent waited to make that call after the power came back on, which happened late this afternoon.  Straight line winds left parts of Camden Fairview High School a mangled mess.

Superintendent Robert Davis said, "Well actually it was much more severe than I thought it would have been."

The school's gymnasium got the brunt of the damage.  Because the gym is 20 to 30 feet higher than the rest of the school, the maintenance director believes it protected the building.

Director of Maintenance Johnny Embry said, "We were very, very lucky because there were two classrooms damaged but the damage was contained to the gymnasium and stadium area."

Another issue...no power.  The lights did however come back on later in the afternoon.  Also, crews patched up the problem areas in time for kids to go back to school.  Permanent repairs will begin this summer.  But, no matter how long it takes to clean up, everyone is counting their blessings no one was inside the school when the storm hit.

Embry said, "It would have been a terrific disaster if kids were in the building. "

Damage to the Camden Fairview High School is estimated at more than $50,000.  Construction managers and architects looked over the building's structure and said, even with the damage, it's safe for students to be inside.

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