While noting that sections of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) had flood waters up to six feet high, Principal Sandy Underhill has called for maximum assistance from the community to clean up the nearly eight-acre campus.
She said students can earn academic-related credits if they turn up to lend a hand.
“Students who have stepped forward – we also want them to know that this is an opportunity to get community service hours as well. It’s a lot of work and it’s going to require all hands on deck,” Underhill said.
Acquiring a certain amount of community hours is a graduation requirement for students.
Underhill, in the meantime, told BVI News Online that ESHS sustained considerable damage from heavy rains, adding that a vast number of equipment and other school property were affected.
“Our school seems to have sustained significant water damage – a lot of water in the basement of the new east building… I can’t give you an overall estimate [of the value of damaged properties] but it is significant.”
Underhill further stated that the close proximity of the school to a major ghut is what contributed to the institution being flooded.
“It would seem – although I’m not an expert – that the ghut overflowed at some point during the course of Monday evening, and that is what poured out into the school. And because the rain was non-stop, there was not enough time for the water to have any real escape. So the water settled up to six feet in the basement of the new building of the school.”
“Six feet means that it went into the windows, into the classrooms, and pretty much all equipment and resources were under water,” Underhill added.
Flood waters also knocked out sections of the recently-built perimeter wall at the school.
Underhill said community members already started to assist with the cleanup. “We’ve had overwhelming support, but we are asking for more. Our school is about seven-and-a-half acres in size and there is debris everywhere. There is mud, lots of water damage, and again we’re just asking for anybody else in the community to just come out and assist. Again, heartfelt gratitude to those you have already stepped up – we are extremely grateful and thankful.”
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