Strong winds peel roof off of two classrooms at Columbiana Middle School

One of the two classrooms at Columbiana Middle School that suffered water damage after its roof was ripped off by strong winds during a thunderstorm Tuesday. (

A Shelby County thunderstorm ripped the roof off parts of Columbiana Middle School Tuesday afternoon. It happened while students were in the building.

Pictures taken by the National Weather Service.. from inside Columbiana Middle School show water and debris on a classroom floor.. and a missing roof.

"I had some concerns when I found out." Columbiana Fire Chief, Johnny Howard, says wind peeled back the roof over two classrooms during a thunderstorm around 2:00. School was still going on. "We got the call this afternoon, came up to inspect the building and found maintenance workers on the scene repairing the school so it will be back up tomorrow."

Even Queen Rope, who lives across the street, says her home received some minor damage. "I didn't know what to think when I pulled up. I thought what's going on and a finally saw some guy at the school on top of the building."

Cindy Warner with Shelby County Schools says winds caused a 40 by 15 foot section of the roof to peel back. Students were evacuated to a safety zone and evaluated by a registered nurse. She says no child required emergency medical attention. A structural engineer has inspected the area.. and reported no structural damage. Warner says repair work should be completed in two to three weeks.

Local residents on Facebook reported that some children were injured.. but the school system says it's not aware of any significant injuries. We could not reach the school principal for a comment, but Warner says school will be open Wednesday.