Orrick schools out for summer after buildings sustain heavy damage

ORRICK, Mo. – People are cleaning up for a third day after a EF-2 tornado swept through the small community of Orrick Saturday evening. Late Monday evening it was believed that the water may have to be shut off to the town due to a water main break. However, FOX 4’s Mary Pulley reports from Orrick that stopping water service won’t be necessary.

The storm caused at least some type of damage to at least 80 percent of the town and the school district is working through a variety of problems left in the storm’s aftermath.

High school graduation has been moved because of damage to the building and the school will not reopen this year. The Orrick School District has hired a disaster clean-up crew to get the school classrooms ready, however, the district says the school will not reopen until next school year.

The district says the state has granted forgiveness for days missed and students will not be required to make them up. All over the town of Orrick people are trying to put their lives together.

“It was pretty scary.  My daughter was crying,” said Jeremy Vassmer.

Jeremy and Holly Vassmer say they rode out the tornado in their basement with their daughter.

“Sounds like someone was upstairs beating on the floor, and it only lasts 15-20 seconds maybe.  Both of our ears popped, you could actually feel the pressure change,” he remembered.

Holly, who is expecting a baby in four weeks, said despite a hole in the roof she is happy to be alive.

“You don’t even know what’s going to happen.  It’s very scary,” she said.

For some the recovery effort has included searching for missing animals. Danny White said his 15-year-old lab was a good bird dog, and he’s hoping Rugar will turn up at a shelter.

“The tornado came right over the top, picked up my shed, took it to the top of my house, ripped up my dog pen,” White explained. “I had that dog all through my high school and most of my adult life and he’s gone.

The American Red Cross says despite the tornado’s strength, no one was killed. For more information about what to do if you’re a student or parent at an Orrick school, please click on this link.

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