Cleanup is underway at Douglas Community School after the roof of its sports hall was ripped off by the fierce winds during Storm Ophelia.
“We’ve made considerable progress today so far in clearing the schoolyard,” Principal Jim Long told the Echo.
“Hopefully we will be in a position to reopen the school tomorrow.” The sports hall roof was torn clean off the building as Storm Ophelia battered the country yesterday.
“It knocked a brick wall down to the ground when it hit it, such was the speed and veracity of the winds. We’d be having a very different conversation if people hadn’t heeded the advice and were outside at the time and in its way.” If someone had been outside, they would have been seriously injured or killed, Mr Long added.
Mr Long is unsure if he will be in a position to reopen the school tomorrow, he added.
“The problem is that an ESB pole has been knocked and there is currently a live wire down on the property. It really depends on the ESB and how quickly it can be dealt with. Certainly, no students can come in while the cable is down, the cable is right near the school gate.”
“I’ve contractors in, the sheeting has come off in large chunks that can’t be moved so these have to be cut first. Next, we’ll be moving onto work on the neighbour's damaged properties. The roof travelled as far as 50 yards away, knocking fences along its path.”
“The roof is only about 13 or 14 years old, there’s no reason it should have come off, except for the wind, and it was secure.”
Parents will be updated as soon as possible, via the school’s website he added.