The 2021 Winter Storm left quite an impression on Washington County homes and public buildings alike.
The Western Line School District’s Riverside and O’Bannon campuses sustained damages both major and minor, as a result of the storm.
However, those damages are being addressed effectively and quickly, according to Superintendent Lawrence Hudson.
The Riverside High School sustained the most significant damage, Hudson explained, as two main water lines broke, causing the entire lower level of the school to flood.
“Because of the amount of flooding at the high school, we’re bringing in ServPro to assist with the cleanup and that could last for the remainder of the week,” he said. “We’re hoping to get students back in school at Riverside High somewhere near March 1.”
A few leaks in some of the classrooms and fallen ceiling tiles accounted for the bulk of the issues at Riverside Elementary, along with a few sewer and drainage issues that a plumber is addressing.
Hudson said it would take roughly a day or two to get everything cleaned up and the water back on and running at Riverside Elementary.
On the O’Bannon campus, Hudson shared that ice falling from the roof of the cafeteria and gym was the cause of the damage to one of the canopies on the campus’ walkway.
He noted that when the canopy was smashed to the ground, there were some internet wires and cables that were connected, but the damage caused a disruption in internet connection to part of the campus.
Aside from the canopy damage, O’Bannon experienced minor leaks as well, but there were no busted pipes in its main building — only a few ceiling tiles that fell in a couple of parts in the building.
O’Bannon’s athletic field house did, however, sustain a main water break that led to significant flooding.
“As far as the timeline to restore O’Bannon, we’re only looking at maybe a day or two to get things cleaned up and the water back on and running,” Hudson said.
Both Riverside Elementary and O’Bannon students are expected to be able to return to the campuses by Wednesday this week.
Until Riverside High School is back in order and prepared, its students will be on a virtual schedule for the remainder of the week.
Hudson added, “It could’ve been worse and we’re fortunate to not have any more damage than we do; we’ll look to make speedy repairs and get our students back in school as soon as possible.”