Wind rips roof off cafeteria at Kansas grade school

Posted: Updated:

Cleanup efforts are underway after Tuesday's strong winds blew off the roof of the cafeteria at a southern Kansas grade school.

School was in session when the wind tore off the roof of the lunchroom at Haviland Grade School in Kiowa County. The school was evacuated and closed. 

"It was obviously really windy," Haviland Grade School Superintendent Mark Clodfelter said. "And then at times it seemed to be gusting extremely high and we didn't anticipate anything like this."

Video shows the roof blow off and land in the parking lot, leaving debris for people to clean up.

"At that point, we wanted to get the students out of the building," Clodfelter said.

KAKE Meteorologist Tony Laubach says Tuesday's high winds were the direct result of a powerful storm system affecting the Midwest. 

"We know that we had observations at several sights around the area that we had wind gusts upwards of 60 miles-per-hour," Laubach said. "So it is pretty easy to deduce that Haviland saw 60 mile-per-hour winds at some point yesterday."

While the roof didn't stand a chance, all students and staff were unharmed. But the same cannot be said for cars in the parking lot. 

"Wind is an incredibly powerful thing," Clodfelter said. "I didn't think that something like this could even happen -- that it could take our entire roof off in one big chunk."

Roof repairs are expected to be pricey, but the school should be back open Friday. 


Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to