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Welch classes canceled after gym destroyed in storm

Posted at 7:22 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 10:03:41-04

WELCH, Okla. — Relentless storms on May 6 struck in Craig County, leaving devastation in Welch.

While Welch Public Schools' classrooms remain fine, the roof was ripped off the practice gymnasium. School is an afterthought for hundreds of families whose hometowns are littered with debris.

"We've been walking around picking up screws and just cleaning up and being there for one another, for the whole community," Crystal Creech told 2 News.

Welch High School basketball player Nicole Feltynowski said she is in disbelief to see the mess, and hopes for local and statewide support for her school.

"We kind of need a lot of these people around here to realize what this gym means to us and what all these people in the town mean to us," Feltynowski said.

The 80-year-old gym's roofing slammed a neighboring house, yard, tree, and camper.

Superintendent Jeremy Ramsey said the home belongs to two Welch teachers and their children, who attend the school.

"Lives are impacted, and (there's) trauma," Ramsey said. "You know, we are worrying about our kids at home and what they're going through, and if they have any damage and our parents. As a superintendent, that's one of the first things you think about."

Feltynowski said the damaged home belongs to her English teacher.

"I can't imagine what they're going through right now," she said. "I mean, they stayed up at the school last night and came out this morning, and their house was destroyed."

Mayor Kathy Jenkins describes the fact nobody got hurt as simply amazing.

"(It was) amazing that with all the things that were going on and the amount of damage from the school roof with all the debris flying around, that nobody got injured," Mayor Jenkins said.

Ramsey confirmed the gym will have to be demolished, and that overall damage costs could top into the millions.

The school district said it hasn't received word from the Oklahoma State Department of Education if its school year will have to go on longer than scheduled because of adverse weather days.

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