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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for
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
Trauma-Informed Practices & the Construction of the Deep Reading Brain
Join Ryan Lee-James, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, director of the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, with Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD., Vital Village Community Engagement Network; Neena McConnico, Ph.D, LMHC, Child Witness to Violence Project; and Sondra
Content provided by Rollins Center

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 A Hallmark of School Shooters: Long History of Social Rejection
New research finds that shooters in K-12 schools are more often "failed joiners" than loners.
5 min read
Butler County Sheriff Deputies stand on the scene at Madison Local Schools, in Madison Township in Butler County, Ohio, after a school shooting on Feb. 29, 2016.
Sheriff deputies were on the scene of a shooting at Madison Local Schools, in Butler County, Ohio, in 2016.
Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP
School Climate & Safety 4 Myths About Suspensions That Could Hurt Students Long Term
New longitudinal research shows that longer in- and out-of-school suspensions have severe consequences for students.
5 min read
Image of a student sitting at a desk in a school hallway.
Jupiterimages/Getty
School Climate & Safety Photos The Tense and Joyous Start to the 2021 School Year, in Photos
Students are headed back to school with the threat of the Delta variant looming. How is this playing out across the country? Take a look.
School Climate & Safety Former NRA President Promotes Gun Rights at Fake Graduation Set Up by Parkland Parents
A former NRA president invited to give a commencement address to a school that doesn’t exist was set up to make a point about gun violence.
Lisa J. Huriash, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
2 min read
David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, speaks during the CPAC meeting in Washington on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2010.
David Keene, the former president of the NRA, promoted gun rights in a speech he thought was a rehearsal for a commencement address to graduating students in Las Vegas. The invitation to give the speech was a set up by Parkland parents whose son was killed in the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP