Mar. 24—The Salvation Army Worship Center and Boys & Girls Club of High Point are still in recovery mode after a tornado tore through South Main Street on Thursday.
The EF0 tornado led to flooded roads and damage across High Point. EF stands for enhanced Fujita, the scale used to rate tornadoes based on damage to structures and trees. The scale goes from EF0 to EF5, with anything over EF2 considered a significant tornado.
But even lower rated tornadoes leave behind damage as High Point's tornado did. On Kellywood Drive, three large oak trees fell, blocking off the dead-end street, and at Brentwood Street and Townsend Avenue, strong winds snapped a number of utility polls.
Amy Hudson, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, said Tuesday that everyone evacuated the building quickly when the storm came toward the Salvation Army that afternoon.
An initial assessment of damage revealed leaking inside the worship center chapel and kitchen, destruction to the surrounding fence, downed trees, cracked siding, ripped flags and more. A brand-new shed that the club recently bought to house outdoor yard equipment was shifted off its foundation, damaging the ramp and possibly building structure.
Hudson said roofing, heating and air systems and sports fields also were damaged by the tornado's winds, which reached an estimated peak of 85 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
"It knocked down quite a few of our light poles — 75-foot poles," Hudson said. "Twisted them in half and snapped them off."
Outbuildings torn off their foundation will have to be put back with a crane, Hudson said.
"But the chapel is probably the worst interior damage we had," she said.
When rain poured into the chapel, Salvation Army staff quickly tried to wrap music equipment in plastic. The water damaged the chapel's floors and ceiling.
"But we were blessed," Hudson said. "It could have been so much worse than it was."
Some things remain intact, completely undamaged — like the worship hall's stained glass windows.
In a news release, the Salvation Army said it is working with its insurance company to assess damage. Hudson said repairs likely will begin soon but will take several weeks. In the meantime, the Remote Learning Center at the Boys & Girls Club will be closed.
Church service was called off Sunday, but there will be one this Sunday — Palm Sunday.
Hudson said they plan to have the worship hall cleaned up and put back together so that they can keep church services going, even while other repairs are still in the works.
"If nothing else, we will have church services," Hudson said. "Can't stop Easter."
Contact Jamie Biggs at 336-373-4476 and follow @JamieBiggsNR on Twitter.
(c)2021 the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.)
Visit the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) at www.news-record.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.