Roof of George Watkins Elementary damaged

NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) - Students at a New Kent elementary school got a real scare when the tornado hit their building. But the damage is minor, and the school will be open, on time, Friday morning.

For all of the damage we've seen, the school fared pretty well in comparison. There were a couple dozen kids at the most in the building when it happened. Thankfully, they were able to get to safety before the storm hit.

Leaves still litter the floors inside George Watkins Elementary School, after a brush with a tornado. A girl scout troop was here at the time, so was a group of students with parks and recreation.

We spoke with one man who was in the building when the tornado hit. He said all the children were shuffled into a safe hallway but they could feel the doors opening and shutting and dust flying through the hallway as the tornado hit.

Outside- there was damage to the school's roof-the same one that had just fixed after hurricane Irene.

"There were several panels that were blown loose and a couple on the ground and a couple were up in the trees," said John Farrell with Team Roofing.

It'll cost about $20,000 to fix, but crews are already hard at work.

"Well, it doesn't look like there is anything structural. It was just the outer skin that blew off and some of the metal framing was exposed and we'll come tomorrow and cover it up," Ferrell said.

You can't even tell the roof is damaged from the inside, and school officials say class will not be interrupted.

"School should open right on time and everybody should be here with their homework ready to go for the day," said Tommy Hicks, Chief of the Fire Department.

We're told none of the other schools sustained any damage from the storm.

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