Storms that touched town in the Twin Cities late Monday morning had extensive damage in various parts throughout the Northeast Louisiana area.
The Bawcomville area reported a tornado sighting and police had to shut down Cypress Street for a good portion of the day due to electricty poles snapped and draped around power lines.
The most significant area was a block away from West Monroe High School, which also reported damages to its roof and some athletic facilities — particularly to Shelby Aulds Memorial Baseball Field which stands in between the football fieldhouse and stadium.
The fencing around the baseball field, the press box and concession stand received the brunt of the storm around the high school campus and had one of its stadium lights fall onto a parked car.
The fence around the football practice field and the Rebel Tennis Complex was also distorted and other storm aftermath left behind some damages to the Rebel Gym.
As far as Don Shows Field at Rebel Stadium, West Monroe principal Dan Lane said some signs and banners were knocked down. The most visible damage from North Seventh Street which runs parallel to the west endzone was the signs that draped in front of the visitor section that read West Monroe Rebels.
The metal was bent and pushed up from its normal position, as well as the banners that hung in front of the endzone bleachers that had every state champion year, as well state runner-up years.
Lane spoke with The News-Star Monday afternoon and said that the new scoreboard at the stadium seemed to suffer no structural damage. The 48.5 feet by 27 feet board made its debut this past Friday night during the Rebels’ win over Alexandria Senior High to begin their district slate.
“The scoreboard seems fine, but we will not really know until we can turn it on,” Lane said. “Anytime you have something like a tornado, it is an event. Our teachers who were here hunkered down, and later when it was discovered we had a gas leak, everyone evacuated quickly.”
While other schools did not receive structural damage, the teams were thrown off from their normal routine.
“I don’t think it will affect our team too much,” OCS head coach Steven Fitzhugh said. “We just will stay longer on Tuesday. (Monday) is usually a conditioning day and film watching day for us. We will just do that (Tuesday).”
Most schools were out Monday for a teacher in-service day so the hustle to get students home and out of the storm was not as intense.
At Sterlington, Jason Thompson said the team will make up for lost practice time, but it’s not concerning.
“Fortunately it is Week 7 of the season and it shouldn’t pose as big of a problem for us as had it happened earlier in the year,” Thompson said. “Most of the playbook is in at this point. It is about refining it all.”