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Winds rip portion of Keolu Elementary’s roof; school closed Tuesday

    Pieces of the roof of Keolu Elementary School's cafeteria laid strewn about the school grounds Monday afternoon.

Strong winds ripped off portions of Keolu Elementary School’s cafeteria roof Monday afternoon, prompting officials to keep the Kailua campus closed Tuesday.

The state Department of Education said its facilities crews were unable secure the damaged area and clear debris due to ongoing wind gusts.

"The strong winds are unpredictable at this point and until we can ensure that the campus is safe for everyone, Keolu will be closed," Suzanne Mulcahy, complex area superintendent for the Kailua-Kalaheo complex, said in a statement.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory, warning that gusts over 60 mph could hit Oahu, Kauai and Maui counties Monday afternoon into the evening.

Approximately 50 first- and second-grade students were in Keolu Elementary’s cafeteria when the roof was damaged around 11:40 a.m. Monday. The building was evacuated and the school’s remaining students were served lunch in their classrooms.

No one was injured, but the Honolulu Fire Department was called to the school for initial assistance, according to the DOE.

Keolu Elementary has 145 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Monday’s gusty conditions also caused disruptions at other Windward area schools. Mulcahy said afterschool activities were canceled at Pope Elementary and Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate due to the windy conditions, but those schools will be in session on Tuesday.

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