UPDATE: Flooding leaves school year schedule uncertain for some students

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UPDATE 6/30/16 @ 12:15 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Flood-soaked Clendenin has faced a slew of problems in the past week.

But now, the latest thing that has been muddied is the certainty of the school calendar.

Kanawha County Schools maintenance crews need to get mud out of flooded schools: Herbert Hoover High School, Elkview Middle School, Clendenin Elementary School and Bridge Elementary School.

Executive Director of Maintenance Terry Hollandsworth says crews will also need to restore power, decrease humidity and replace water-logged materials in the six weeks before school starts.

Kellie Harding's son is a student at Herbert Hoover. She says the uncertainty has left her uneasy.

"It does concern me to a point," Harding said. "I don't know how they'll do it."

Hollandsworth admits, for such a massive undertaking, six weeks is a tight time frame.

"We're gonna give it our best shot," Hollandsworth said.

Hollandsworth says students won't be permitted in the buildings unless they are in perfect shape.

A small measure of progress was made Wednesday when crews cleaned the utility service room in Herbert Hoover. However, Hollandsworth said the process took 11 hours.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says a contingency plan could include using the Elk Community Center as a temporary school, once it's cleaned.

"It can be put back into shape," Carper said. "Within 30 to 40 days ... in time for school."

But many parents, like Kellie, are hoping clean-up crews can find a way to get their kids back toward normalcy, and away from a messy nightmare, before any contingency plans are needed.

"These kids are living in it, they're smelling it," Harding said. "Many of our students lost their homes ... just to be able to come back to their high school, on a normal schedule, is just something they really need right now."

During an emergency meeting Wednesday night, Kanawha County Commissioners approved a $50,000 contribution to begin repairs on the Elk Community Center.



UPDATE 6/29/16 @ 12:45 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says students may not be able to return to Herbert Hoover High School at the beginning of the school year due to severe flooding.

In a radio interview Wednesday with Talkline, Carper said, "I doubt they can get that open."

Herbert Hoover High School, Bridge Elementary, Clendenin Elementary, and Elkview Middle School all received flood damage in last week's storms.

The water was nearly seven feet deep in Herbert Hoover at one time

Tuesday night, Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring told WSAZ they are preparing for different scenarios.

"We are working on plans if any of the schools are not totally ready to open on the first day of school. We are not ready to discuss any of it since there are not definite plans, and we will see how cleanup goes," Duerring said.

According to Kanawha County School's Maintenance Director Terry Hollingsworth, Herbert Hoover High School and Clendenin Elementary do have flood insurance, but Bridge Elementary and Elkview Middle schools do not.

School in Kanawha County resumes Aug. 8, 2016.



UPDATE 6/28/16 @ 7:42 p.m.
CLENDENIN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Schools that would normally be virtually empty during summer break will be filled with workers trying to rehab the buildings from the fatal flooding that hit last week.

Bridge Elementary, Clendenin Elementary, Elkview Middle School and Herbert Hoover High School were affected by the flooding.

At one point, the water was nearly 7 feet deep inside Herbert Hoover High School. One official warned Monday that the building might not be ready for the start of the 2016-17 school year.

Tuesday night, Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring told WSAZ they are preparing for different scenarios.

"We are working on plans if any of the schools are not totally ready to open on the first day of school. We are not ready to discuss any of it since there are not definite plans, and we will see how cleanup goes," Duerring said.

According to Kanawha County School's Maintenance Director Terry Hollingsworth, Herbert Hoover High School and Clendenin Elementary do have flood insurance, but Bridge Elementary and Elkview Middle schools do not.

School in Kanawha County resumes Aug. 8, 2016.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 6/27/16
ELKVIEW W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After severe flooding in Elkview, officials toured schools to see how much damage was left behind.

Bridge Elementary, Clendenin Elementary, Elkview Middle School and Herbert Hoover High School were affected from the flooding.

On Monday, school officials toured all four schools to asses the damage and plan for the future.

Herbert Hoover High School was hit the hardest. At one point during the flooding, the high school was submerged 7 feet under water.

"These people in this community ... I mean, I don't know how much more we can take. Now it's raining again" Herbert Hoover High School's Principal Michael Kelly said. "We realize a lot of people are really struggling right now. We're going to try to do our part to help them, and we're also going to to do what we can to get this school back open so we can give the community some sense of normalcy maybe."

Right now, Herbert Hoover High School does not have power. Maintenance crews and contractors were on location to help with planning.

Bridge Elementary's Principal Cynthia Cummings tells WSAZ thousands of dollars worth of electronics, books and school supplies were destroyed. Many teachers and students lost their personal belongings.

"It's heartbreaking. I've lived in the community for 30 years and have never seen such devastation. With that in mind, we can't control our circumstance and it's hard to control feelings, but we are beyond that and hopeful to meet the needs of the community, and staff and students and families," Cummings said.

The Safety Director for Kanawha County Schools said he has never seen such devastation in his life.

"Our community schools are the highlight of a lot of the communities, especially in the east end of the county. And it's just horribly sad for the community to face this. Also with the devastating losses of our homes," Charlie Warner, safety director for Kanawha County Schools, said.

According to Kanawha County School's Maintenance Director, Terry Hollingsworth, Herbert Hoover High School will not be ready in time for school in the fall. He said it is up to the Superintendent on what to do.

Hollingsworth also said Clendenin Elementary and Herbert Hoover High School did have flood insurance, but Bridge Elementary and Elkview Middle School did not.



 
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