In Raynham, winds damage elementary school roof

RAYNHAM — Heavy wind gusts tore thick insulation off a cafeteria roof at an elementary school here and blew tree limbs and curbside trash throughout some neighborhoods in the South Shore.

The early-morning winds did not come without warning but nonetheless left morning commuters swerving around debris and residents chasing down empty trash barrels and scooping up the strewn contents in towns such as Stoughton, Easton, and Bridgewater.

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In Raynham, a routine check of the Lillie B. Merrill K-1 school at 4 a.m. showed the building in good shape for its 300 students, but soon after, whistling winds descended upon the region, and dislodged the cafeteria’s roof insulation and the rubber material that covered it.

School officials said they contemplated canceling school, but decided not to after determining that there would be only minor inconveniences to the staff and students.

The students would eat lunch at their desks and parking would be slightly diverted, said Jacqueline Forbes, superintendent of Bridgewater-Raynham Regional Schools.

Some water leaked from the roof and the insulation, carried by winds to Pleasant Street, caused minor traffic delays, but municipal crews quickly gathered up the debris.

“We’ll be doing emergency roof repairs, and the children are all going in, all the buses are in ... it’s school as usual,” Forbes said, standing in front of the building.

A 50-by-50 foot area on the cafeteria roof has to be repaired, she said.

“The cafeteria workers are already in there, baking cookies.”