Friday, 25 November 2011 13:54

Wind rings the dismissal bell in Nanton, at least for a day or two

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By Susan Quinlan
Most southern Albertans have from time to wondered if they might wake to find they too were no longer in Kansas, given the region’s gale force winds, but for students in Nanton, that possibility struck a bit too close when on Wednesday, J.T. Foster High School lost part of its roof.

“Overall, it has not been a bad day. No doubt about it, a good portion of my gym roof has blown off, but no one was injured and the school was evacuated in 15 minutes, so it turned out alright,” said principal Peter Weeks.

In a press release, Nanton RCMP reported the Nanton area had received 100-kilometre winds Wednesday. They described the scene at J.T. Foster High School as one where the wind had lifted the roof off the high school in one massive piece, like tearing a bed sheet off a bed.

Engineers assessed the damage at the school and said it was equivalent to having the shingles blown off your house, said Weeks.

Workers as well took a look, but given the force of the gusting wind, repairs could not yet be made.

“Everything will be back to normal by Monday. And if worse comes to worse, we’ve met with town officials and senior administration from Livingstone Range (School Division), and we have a plan in place to move to community facilities.

“A lot of it depends on the wind calming down. We need to get the roof patched before we get any bad weather or that could be a challenge.”

Meanwhile on Highway 2, Nanton RCMP reported only one incident that delayed traffic, when a semi truck ended up across the south bound lane. Three or four other semi trailers ended up in the ditch, but no injuries were reported.

On Highway 22, Crowsnest Pass RCMP reported one semi incident, but no other traffic delays due to the wind.

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