School Climate & Safety

Weather Wreaks Havoc On Some Schools

By Rhea R. Borja — May 15, 2002 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Schools in rural McDowell County, W.Va., may not reopen for the rest of this academic year, after severe flooding May 2 destroyed one school and damaged up to 11 others.

The flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rainstorms killed six people and destroyed or damaged more than 500 buildings, authorities said. President Bush declared four counties in West Virginia disaster areas.

McDowell County Superintendent of Schools Mark Manchin was scheduled to meet with state Superintendent David Stewart and the county’s principals early this week to decide whether to reopen schools.

“There’s still proms and graduations. We’re going to make every effort to give kids something to remember besides the floods,” Mr. Manchin said.

About half the school system’s 4,600 students have been left homeless, he said. Panther Elementary School, which enrolled 168 students, was washed away. “Water just engulfed the school,” Mr. Manchin said. “There was 5 to 8 feet of dirty, black water gushing down the halls.”

But he said he was most concerned about the emotional trauma his students may feel from experiencing two severe floods in one year. A flood last July killed six people. “When it clouds up and rains, how many children will become afraid?” the superintendent said. “That just breaks your heart.”

Helping Out

In La Plata, Md., students, teachers, and school leaders are helping in relief efforts to put their town back together after it was hit by a tornado. The April 28 tornado cut a 12-mile swath of destruction through southern Maryland, killing three people and demolishing most of downtown La Plata. Three counties were declared disaster areas. Statewide damage is estimated at $120 million.

There was little damage to the area’s public schools, but the twister leveled the 555-student Catholic Archbishop Neal Elementary School. Charles County school officials offered classroom space, transportation, and supplies to the school, said spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson.

At La Plata High School, 15 students and three teachers lost their homes in the tornado, said Principal Donald E. Cooke. Many members of his staff have provided them with clothing, money, and supplies, he said. Some students and staff members were also helping to clear away debris.

“We want to help out the community,” Mr. Cooke said, “whatever the need may be.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 15, 2002 edition of Education Week as Weather Wreaks Havoc On Some Schools

Events

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
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

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 What the Research Says Bullying Dropped as Students Spent Less Time in In-Person Classes During Pandemic
Researchers based their findings on an analysis of internet searches on online and school-based harassment.
5 min read
Cyber bullying concept. Paper cut Woman head silhouette with bullying messages like disgusting, OMG!!, loser, hate, ugly, and stupid.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School Climate & Safety Interactive School Shootings This Year: How Many and Where
Education Week is tracking K-12 school shootings in 2022. See the number of incidents and where they occurred in our map and data table.
2 min read
Sign indicating school zone.
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Infographic School Shootings in 2021: 4 Takeaways, in Charts
In 2021, there were 34 school shootings that hurt or killed people, the most since 2018. Here's what we know about school shootings this year.
Illustration of a gun and a school in the background.
iStock/Getty collage
School Climate & Safety Opinion Assessing Shooting Threats Is a Matter of Life or Death. Why Aren't Experts Better at It?
To take the right actions before the next tragedy occurs, schools need all the help they can get, write three experts.
David Riedman, Jillian Peterson & James Densley
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of young person in crisis
iStock/Getty