McDowell Elementary closed after flooding

Jack Latta jlatta@civitasmedia.com

August 13, 2013

McDOWELL — One Floyd County school was buried under mud and debris following several days of hard rains and flash flooding.

Volunteers and school staff members from around county were busy Monday evening and again Tuesday, trying to clean up after flood waters breached the oft flooded McDowell Elementary School.

Floyd County Schools Supt. Henry Webb said he was hopeful the school would be able to reopen later this week.

“Worst case scenario, we hope to be back in by Monday,” Webb said.

Floyd County schools were closed Tuesday after county officials deemed several roads too unsafe for buses to travel. The day off provided extra manpower to help clean up McDowell.

Teachers and staff from other schools, as well volunteers from around the county, converged to help clean out mud and sanitize the building for the eventual return of students. The building and grounds will have to be inspected by the Floyd County Health Department before students will be allowed to return to class.

McDowell Elementary, which has a history of flooding, is scheduled to be consolidated once a new high school has been built. Floyd County Board Chairman Jeff Stumbo said the project is still probably at least two years away, but events such as the flooding this week will likely encourage the board to try to speed up the process.

Workers were aided at the site by Left Beaver Fire Department, volunteers from Stonecrest golf course who provided lunch for the workers, and several work release inmates from the Floyd County Detention Center.