WICHITA, Kansas – A lightning strike Thursday morning knocked out windows at an elementary school.
It happened at Woodman Elementary School in the 2500 block of South Hiram just around 9 a.m.
Principal Jana Epperly says most students were inside of the building, but not yet inside classrooms when a lightning bolt hit a tree close to the school.
“It was right about 8:53. Our bell rings at 8:50, and so thank goodness most of our students had already entered the building.”
Epperly thinks the voltage from the electricity caused limbs and debris from the tree to shoot out breaking windows in at least eight classrooms.
Julie Nelson teaches second grade and describes the ordeal.
“I was working in my room, and I was walking to the door. The bell rang and a minute later the lightning struck, glass was flying and the kids were scared.”
Nelson was able to move her students out of the room safely. She says all but five of her students were still in the hallway when the windows shattered.
“Well, my first reaction was to hit the ground, but then I turned and the realization that I have kids in my room, and I grabbed them and we headed out into the hall.”
School officials say they had to move several second and third grade classes to other rooms because of the glass.
A student’s grandfather was outside the school and was hit by flying bark. His injuries were described as minor.
Crews began removing the tree and cleaning up all the broken glass.