Flood shuts down elementary school, staff and volunteers mop up - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Flood shuts down elementary school, staff and volunteers mop up

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Students at McDowell Elementary are getting some time off from classes, just a week into their school year, after the campus was suddenly flooded.

On Monday afternoon, school therapist, Lauren Lawson stepped out of school to do some paperwork when she heard the creek out back had overflowed.

"By the time I got to the office, I was seeing facebook posts of 'Our school is completely flooded,'" says Lawson while on a break from mopping.

The superintendent of Floyd County Schools says this is the third time in his seven years here that the district has needed this community clean-up effort to clean up the school because of flooding.

"We were talking this morning, and joking, saying we've gotten pretty good at it," says Superintendent Henry Webb.

Teachers and staff cringed as they threw out projects from the first week of school.

McDowell Elementary's new principal, Rady Martin points to muddy outdoor planters that were bright and colorful just a day earlier.

"There were flowers there yesterday," says Principal Martin. "So it got right to the top of that [edge of the planter]."

The school is located in one of the lower-lying areas of Floyd County, right next to Frazier's Creek.

Administrators say when the creek peeked over its banks, it took just a few minutes before three buildings, the playground and the parking lot were flooded.

"I know it floods. I just wasn't expecting it to happen so quickly," says Martin.

The Floyd County Board of Education recently approved a facilities plan, which would move all McDowell Elementary students to South Floyd High School, where they would consolidate with nearby Osborne Elementary.

While they hope this is the last time they will have to make over the school, staff, parents and volunteers say they are prepared to do it again if the weather forces them.

"Living here, you're used to crazy weather in Eastern Kentucky, so you just take it with a grain of salt, and you do it for your kids, and you love them," says Ms. Lawson. "You gotta get them back in school, and provide for them, so we just keep on trucking."

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