MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Students, teachers, coaches and the community stood and gazed in disbelief at Murphy High School Wednesday morning, December 26 as crews picked up what Tuesday night's tornado left behind.
Trees were tossed across the lawn, metal was bent and twisted around trees and shingles from rooftops were sprawled across the ground.
PHOTOS: Murphy High School damaged in storm
The tornado shattered windows and demolished the portable classrooms next to the school.
"All the portables, they're all gone. Both of the field houses are destroyed. We've got walkways that are completely gone, we've got trees ripped in half, it's just unimaginable," said Graham Love, a junior at Murphy High School.
Love went to the school after the tornado tore it apart Tuesday night to salvage some band instruments in case the roof caved in.
Seeing the damage in the daylight, Love said it's worse than he had initially thought.
However, Executive Manager of Operations Tommy Sheffield felt differently.
"We're probably in better shape than I thought last night. It's devastating. We've got $5 to $10 million worth of damage here. I guess we're blessed at the end of the day," Sheffield said.
Maintenance crews showed up around 7 a.m. Wednesday to begin picking up debris sprawled across the 40-acre campus.
School officials are asking the public stay away from campus for the time being.
"Our main priority is to get the grounds clear and assess the damage so we can get the students back in classes January 3," said Mobile County School Superintendent Martha Peek.
At first sight, Peek said the damage to the school was hard to take in.
"When you see the shape it's in, it's devastating. You look at the old oaks and it's devastating, it breaks your heart," she said.
Others shared in her sadness.
"The canopies that connect the buildings out here are original lumbers [from the ] 1800 and 1900s. Mill lumber that's destroyed. There's not a canopy on the campus and all the lumber is very expensive, it's priceless. There's a lot of damage out here that's irreplaceable," Sheffield said.
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