School Climate & Safety

Storm Wreaks Millions in Damages In Texas and La.

By Julie Blair — June 20, 2001 1 min read

Tropical Storm Allison dropped between 15 and 36 inches of rain over just four days on southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana this month. It will take a lot longer than that—and millions of dollars—for schools to rebound from the storm.

“This has been a nightmare,” said Stephanie Cravens, the superintendent of the 4,200-student Sheldon Independent School District, located just east of Houston, where the weather was the worst and claimed four lives.

“Three- fourths of our school system is damaged,” she said. “It is devastating.”

Neither Texas nor Louisiana has collected information on the extent of the school damage caused by the storm that began June 4.

Individual school districts, however, are reporting collapsed roofs, waterlogged computer systems, ruined furniture, mud-filled hallways, and washed-out bus depots.

Impact in Houston

Floodwaters damaged 155 of the 300 schools run by the 210,000-student Houston Independent School District, 13 of which have sustained substantial problems, said Carmen A. Gomez, a spokeswoman. The district was able to draft a plan that allowed students to return to summer school last week, she said.

Schools in most districts in both Texas and Louisiana were open for summer school at the time of the storm, officials reported. But because the storm first hit the area during the evening hours, students were not in classes.

Estimating the Costs

Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, took the brunt of the high winds and water. The Sheldon district and the neighboring, 12,600-student North Forest schools appear to have suffered the most severe damages in the region, Ms. Cravens said.

Five of the six schools in the Sheldon district are all but ruined, she said. Repairs to facilities are initially expected to cost taxpayers $10 million to $12 million, although damages could amount to much more. The district had only recently completed $23.5 million in renovations.

Administrators have yet to decide exactly where or when students will return to summer school, Ms. Cravens said. But the superintendent has resolved to ensure that schools are ready to open in August for the fall semester.

Overhauling facilities in North Forest is projected to cost about $7 million, Ms. Cravens said.

No further information could be obtained about that district, as telephones were still out of service in the area late last week.

A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2001 edition of Education Week as Storm Wreaks Millions in Damages In Texas and La.

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela
Teaching Live Online Discussion How to Develop Powerful Project-Based Learning
How do you prepare students to be engaged, active, and empowered young adults? Creating a classroom atmosphere that encourages students to pursue critical inquiry and the many skills it requires demands artful planning on the

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Spotlight Spotlight on Safe Reopening
In this Spotlight, review how your district can strategically apply its funding, and how to help students safely bounce back, plus more.

School Climate & Safety Video A Year of Activism: Students Reflect on Their Fight for Racial Justice at School
Education Week talks to three students about their year of racial justice activism, what they learned, and where they are headed next.
4 min read
Tay Andwerson, front center, Denver School Board at-large director, leads demonstrators through Civic Center Park on a march to City Park to call for more oversight of the police Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Denver.
Tay Andwerson, front center, Denver School Board at-large director, leads demonstrators through Civic Center Park on a march to City Park to call for more oversight of the police Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Denver.
David Zalubowski/AP
School Climate & Safety Interactive Which Districts Have Cut School Policing Programs?
Which districts have taken steps to reduce their school policing programs or eliminate SRO positions? And what do those districts' demographics look like? Find out with Education Week's new interactive database.
A police officer walks down a hall inside a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Michael Blann/Digital/Vision; Kristen Prahl/iStock/Getty Images Plus )
School Climate & Safety These Districts Defunded Their School Police. What Happened Next?
Six profiles of districts illustrate the tensions, successes, and concerns that have accompanied the changes they've made to their school police programs over the last year.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Ryan David Brown for Education Week