Storm causes graduation chaos

June 18, 2008 8:30:34 PM PDT
Not only did the weather make a sordid mess of the graduation ceremonies at Northeast High School, many were left terribly disappointed with the contingency plans. The ceremony was held on the school's football field. 620 seniors, one of the largest graduating classes in the city, set to get their diplomas with their relatives and friends there to watch.

But just as the class leaders were giving their speeches, the weather which had been threatening all evening, finally unleashed rain, wind, and thunder.

"I mean people were everywhere, it was like seas of umbrellas, nobody knew what was going on," said Iudora Burton, the grandmother of one of the graduates. "Everybody just ran, and when they said 'The ceremony is over' I was like, it didn't even start!"

In the midst of the chaos, the power was knocked out to the microphone, so many did not hear officials declare that the seniors were officially graduates, and should come back Thursday to pick up their diplomas.

School officials say seniors can come back at 10am to hear the Valedictorian's speech, get their diplomas and enjoy refreshments, but they don't have enough room for relatives to attend. Some were not too happy.

"I'm sure some people came from out of town and to this disappointment, it's just horrible," said Burton.

There is a little bit of good news: school officials say they will be putting some of the highlights of Thursday's ceremony on the school's webpage .

And, next year officials say they will make arrangements to rent an indoor facility to prevent this from happening again.