The Washington School District will be closed for a third day Wednesday due to flooding in outlying areas and officials are preparing to sandbag at doors and windows at South Point Elementary if the Busch Creek continues to rise.
Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer told The Missourian Tuesday that road closures, which keep changing, and predictions for more rainfall Wednesday, make it unsafe to run buses and many families and staff simply cannot make it to the different school buildings.
The possibility of water at South Point School, located in the Washington city limits, was another major concern. School officials met Tuesday with the Washington city engineer and staff about the creek flooding.
“Based on calculations, if we get three more inches of rain Wednesday, we will have water up to the school,” VanLeer said.
The last time that happened was likely in the 1993 floods, she said.
“We are setting up our plan to sandbag with our grounds crew and staff if needed,” she said. “We won’t line the school walls, but will sandbag at windows, doors and other areas.”
The district went ahead with sandbagging at South Point Tuesday afternoon.
VanLeer said the timing couldn’t be worse, as the district enters its final weeks filled with testing, field trips and countless assemblies, ceremonies and other end-of-the-year events.
“We will do our best to reschedule as much as we can, but we probably won’t be able to do that for everything, such as field trips,” VanLeer said.
So will the missed days have to be made up? VanLeer said she doesn’t know yet, so the district is currently working under the assumption that the missed days will be tacked on to the end of the year.
“We are waiting to hear from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education if a flood waiver will be issued and we won’t be required to make up the days, but we don’t know if that will happen,” she said.
Before the three missed days this week, the district’s last day for students was to be Tuesday, May 23. If the three days have to be made up, the last day will be Friday, May 26.