UPDATE: Schools in Floyd County Remain Closed After Flooding

By: Olivia Fecteau; WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 8/13/13 @ 5:15 p.m.
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Flooding throughout Floyd County meant no school for students on Tuesday and some property damage for people who live in the county. School officials said school could be closed for several more days.

One of the hardest-hit areas was near McDowell Elementary School, which closed due to damage from the flash floods Monday night. Teachers, administrators and cleaning staff spent Tuesday sweeping out mud and water from classrooms and the library, as well as clearing out mud from the courtyards of the school.

“It didn’t get as high as we initially thought that it did, but it got high enough to do significant damage to just about every single classroom,” Rady Martin, the principal of McDowell Elementary, said. “Anything that was on the floor was damaged, but we kind of have an unwritten rule here at McDowell that nothing goes on the floor.”

Martin said when the water came in, the entire campus flooded within 15 minutes. He added that this is not the first time the school has flooded – in fact, it happens every couple of years.

“People understand that it happens here,” Floyd County Superintendent Henry Webb said. “I can’t say enough about our community and all of our team that's here, and all of the support from across all of Floyd County.”

Webb said that when the flash flood happened, their initial reaction was the safety of the kids first. He said they were fortunate that this happened later in the day when no students were in the school.

“We go through some anger each time it floods, but then we roll our sleeves up,” Webb said. “Our motto is whatever it takes for the kids, and our team pulls together and we get it done for kids.”

Jeff Stumbo, the chairman of the Floyd County Board of Education, said this could potentially be expensive.

“I'm going to say just looking around here, this is going to be about $50,000 or $60,000,” Stumbo estimated.

Stumbo noted that the board is looking at plans to consolidate two high schools and move McDowell students into a different building because of flooding events like this one.

Martin said they anticipate opening school as early as Thursday, but that it could be as late as Monday.

A few miles down the road from McDowell Elementary, in Grethel, Ky., some people experienced property damage after creek waters overflowed into their yards.

“It rained about 20 or 30 minutes, and I seen the creek rising,” Kimme Jones said. “Within another 20 minutes, it was flooded everywhere."

Jones said he had to move quickly to get his belongings to higher ground.

“I had a van sitting there, a lawnmower, I had to bring back chairs,” Jones said. “It was just quick. Too quick to think about it, go do it."

He estimated that the water came halfway across his yard, about a foot deep.

A Floyd County teacher said that many students’ homes were damaged by flooding, which also contributed to closing all the county’s schools.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 8/1213 @ 11:10 p.m.
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- While much of the region was spared from heavy rain and thunderstorms on Monday, that wasn't the case in Floyd County.

Sheriff's Department deputies say several roads were washed out by heavy rain. The Harold and Mud Creek areas were especially hard hit.

The problem was significant enough for Floyd County Schools to cancel classes on Tuesday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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