School officials in tornado-ravaged Orrick said Sunday that the town’s high school graduation ceremonies will go on as scheduled May 18, but at nearby Excelsior Springs High School.
The high school in the Ray County community of 800 residents 30 miles northeast of Kansas City was severely damaged by a tornado that hit Saturday evening. The twister was part of what the National Weather Service described as a supercell storm that formed over the Kansas City metropolitan area earlier Saturday and continued eastward.
No injuries were reported in Orrick.
Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in the community, and the Missouri Highway Patrol continued to help residents Sunday. The storm caused significant damage to homes and vehicles and severely damaged the roof of Orrick High School.
School officials canceled classes Monday and Tuesday, and announced the high school graduation ceremony would move to Excelsior Springs, 14 miles north.
“A huge thank you to everyone who has sent us offers of help and prayers,” school officials posted on the district website. “At this time, we are assessing the complete extent of damage to our district and are not allowing anyone in the building until it’s deemed safe to enter.”
The National Weather Service said the storm that struck Orrick then went on to produce another tornado near the city of Marshall about 90 miles east of Kansas City. A storm chaser near the tornado reported winds of more than 100 mph near Marshall.