Straight-line winds tear up Amelia school - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Straight-line winds tear up Amelia school

AMELIA, VA (WWBT) -

Severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds caused extensive damage in parts of Amelia  Saturday.

Parts of Amelia Academy's roof and ball field were strewn all over the ground.

"I just looked at my Facebook and I saw the picture of the academy and I was like, ‘That's like half a mile from my house.' Then I started texting all of my friends," said Marcy Hager.

A tarp now covers part of the academy's roof. A pick-up truck is filled with metal scraps. Heavy machinery is stationed for repairs.

"It's terrible," said Earl Dalton, who was driving home when severe thunderstorms and intense winds blew in. "It scared me because it sounded like a train coming through. It was raining so hard I could hardly see… People were pulling over every which way."

Straight-line winds of at least 60 miles an hour also toppled two trees at a nearby daycare. NBC12 First Warning Weather meteorologist Kevin Jeanes warns not to underestimate strong winds just because they aren't funneling.

"I think people are really quick to say, 'It must have been a tornado because there's a lot of damage.' But straight-line winds can do just as much if not more damage than a tornado," explained Jeanes.

Pre-kindergarten classes at Amelia Academy are canceled for Monday and Tuesday, according to the school's website.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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