Flooding Sends 760 School Children Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Flooding Sends 760 School Children Home

"Right, we're going to the beach," Christy Roach, an assistant principal at Douglas Elementary, said.

The school was under water for most of the morning.

"Children were literally falling over everything," she said. "And water rushed through so fast that it just took whatever was in its path -- trashcans, you know, everywhere."

At its highest level, the water came up to about three feet above ground and left water marks on some portable buildings.

"When it started storming, the children were frightened because of the thunder and lightning," Patreshia Williams, a 3rd grade teacher, said. "And we looked out the door, and the water was up to our steps."

Fearing the rain water would flood into the portable classrooms that fill this campus, teachers evacuated their students. And the halls became chaotic.

"The children had to get out of their shoes and roll their pants legs," Williams said. "And we had to try to wade the water to get the children to the main building."

"The rain feel really cold," Martin Ramirez, a 5th grade student, said. "And I felt like I was going to get sick. So I told my teacher, if I could use her umbrella."

Faculty and staff called parents to come pick up their children and sent some home on buses.

"I seen kids running home and I thought, well, something's going on at the school," Alice Ramon, a grandmother of three, said. "So I called. And it was busy, busy, busy. And when I finally did get somebody, they said, yeah, come and get them, because it's flooding really bad out here."

"I was at P.E. And the gym was leaking." Ion Pugh, a 5th grader, said. "In the auditorium, I think they were crying and stuff that they're scared."

Some kids, whose parents were not available, stayed at school and went to lunch early.

Meanwhile, maintenance workers cleared clogged ditches, and finally, the water started to drain.

School officials say everyone got out of the flood waters safely, with only some minor cuts and scrapes. TISD says classes will resume at normal time tomorrow.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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