A middle school in Panama City, Fla., was among the properties that sustained severe damage when Hurricane Michael struck the area.
CNN reports that the storm ripped off part of the roof at Jinks Middle School. The debris-covered floor of the school's gymnasium is now fully visible from outside.
"You can't make sense of it, but what you do is you take the situation, and what we have to make certain that our kids know is that we must be resilient," Principal Britt Smith says.
The extent of the damage to other schools in the Bay District was unclear, but officials described conditions in the storm aftermath as devastating,
"We will assess the damage & come up with a plan for reopening school soon," Bay District Superintendent Bill Husfelt said on Twitter.
At least three deaths were blamed on Hurricane Michael, which has been described as the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in more than 50 years, the Associated Press reports. Damage estimates are in the billions of dollars.
Smith says he knows how special Jinks Middle School is to his students, whose community and homes also have been hit hard.
"They had the second floor of some of the apartments—they're just gone. Roofs are gone. It's a tough situation."
He's been on the phone, checking on students and staff, "lining up social work support to come in to assist."
"We have contractors that will come in and rebuilt the homes. We (have to) rebuild the kids and their emotional well-being."
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