No damages were reported Friday after a severe storm rolled through southeast Cherokee, but a 30-minute tornado warning left some students sheltering in buses or at school and caused bus delays in south Cherokee.
When the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southeast Cherokee at 2:30 p.m., some elementary school buses were already on the road and were forced to take shelter at their nearest school or other location, reports indicated.
Woodstock Fire Chief Dave Soumas said one local school bus, carrying students from Woodstock Elementary School, took shelter at Fire Station No. 14 when the tornado warning was issued, and everyone was “safe and sound.”
Soumas said it was a “good call for the bus driver.”
Many middle and high school students were also impacted by the storms, which caused them to take shelter in school hallways. Middle and high school bus routes were also expected to be delayed, the district said.
While Woodstock sat in the path of the most severe part of the storm, no damage had been reported as of Friday afternoon, said Woodstock Police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan.
As the thunderstorm threatened students trying to get home Friday afternoon, the school district rolled past estimated enrollment predictions for this school year — weeks ahead of schedule.
The district predicted a total peak enrollment of 40,200 students this school year, which was expected to be reached on the 20th day of school.
Friday marked day five of the new school year, and the Cherokee County School District reported 40,209 students enrolled so far.
About 750 students have enrolled in Cherokee schools since the first day of school Monday, and School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby pointed to a “higher-than-anticipated” number of students transferring from Cherokee Charter Academy into the district.
“The superintendent and his staff already are closely monitoring this growth to determine where staffing adjustments may be needed in the coming days and weeks,” Jacoby said in a news release.