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Tangipahoa students are finally back — but their schools still bear the scars of Hurricane Ida | Education – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-09-22 05:00:00 –

When students in the Tangipahoa parish returned to the classroom for the first time since the extratropical cyclone Ida struck the area more than three weeks ago, the parish school district was just beginning to figure out how much damage the storm had caused.

The district’s initial cost estimate is in the millions of dollars.

Trees that fell in a hurricane shattered a classroom at Loranger High School. From the roof of Hammond High, a squeaky wind tore the shingles, causing a leak in part of the ceiling. According to Brett Schnadelbach, Chief Financial Officer of the Memo district, sent to school board members last week, Hammond Eastside when a drainage ditch north of the campus overflowed and dumped water into a library room. Magnet Elementary School was hit by a flood.

All 32 campuses, almost rural, were damaged. Repairs for the entire district could cost $ 7.2 million, and perhaps even more, Melissa Stilly said Tuesday.

“Permanent repairs will take some time, so please be patient,” she said.

Stacy Crane’s power flickered and died at Hammond’s home around 8 pm the night when Hurricane Ida crashed into the Parish of Tangipahoa.

The school board approved a plan to make up for the time lost to Ida by students by adding 25 minutes to each school day and converting the two non-education days in October to classroom days.

After sweeping north from the Gulf of Mexico, Aida blew eight feet of storm surge from Lake Maurepas to the southern part of the Parish of Tangipahoa. Her wind blew away countless trees and utility poles in the pine-covered northern region of the parish. In some areas, power was lost for several weeks.

Damage was still seen on campus, where students returned to class on Tuesday, from shattered roofs to shingles-free ones.

The district has an insurance plan that includes a 5% storm that is deductible on each campus. This equates to a $ 1.2 million deduction at Ponchatula High School, for example. At this high school, Aida caused “serious damage” to the roofing planks of the asphalt roof.

Schnadelbach estimates that repairing Poncha Tulahai alone will cost more than $ 3 million.

Debra McQueen is a woman of faith.

In that case, the district would eat $ 1.2 million in advance (5% of the campus’s asset value). According to Schnadelbach, the insurance will cover the rest and the district will seek a prepayment of $ 1.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

However, FEMA cash can take years to reach the parish’s financial resources. And if another hurricane comes before, the district will be unique. FEMA only covers annual storm events under the plan.

“We will be covered once this season and our policy will be updated in September next year,” Schnadelbach said. “By September next year, we need to consider more exposure to storms or other ways to secure a school. Without FEMA’s help, 120 if a second event occurs. I don’t think I can eat all of them. “

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Schnadelbach said Tuesday that work on project identification and bid acceptance will begin this week.

After planning to return students to the classroom with a staggered approach last week, the district postponed returning to class as Hurricane Nicholas approached. The second storm rain hindered cleanup efforts from Aida, the district said.

Schools in the Parish of Tangipahoa have overturned plans to welcome students for the first time this week since Hurricane Ida closed students late …

However, when students returned to class on Tuesday, some parents and teachers were afraid that the school was not yet suitable for learning due to the prolonged effects of the first storm.

Kiesaquin, a teacher at Tickfor’s Lucille Nesom Memorial School, told the school board that he returned to the classroom on Monday and found that he was “almost in the same condition as two weeks ago.”

She said the wall was lacking in installation. The teacher coughed on Tuesday and went to emergency treatment, she told the board — something she believed was the result of poor air quality in her classroom.

“I’m suffering from lack of school cleaning,” Quinn said.

The restoration crew treated all campuses throughout the district before reopening, Schnadelbach told Advocate. But he admitted that mold, and even mold, could have the natural consequence of getting wet buildings in southeastern Louisiana and depriving them of electricity in a storm.

Susie and Harrell Sharkey were in a hurry when the residents of the Parish of Tangipahoa were struck by the hurricane “Ida” and evacuated there.

“The school mentioned today, we walked on that campus, and it’s okay,” Schnadelbach said. “Currently, the air conditioner is running 24 hours a day to reduce humidity.”

The Louisiana Department of Health has cleared the district to reopen all facilities, Stilly said.

Earlier on Tuesday, parents used social media to complain about mold appearing on campus. Some people picked up their children from class hours after returning for the first time in three weeks, fearing that moisture could harm their health.

Randy Bush, a member of the Ponchatula area school board, advised parents and employees not to jump to conclusions on the mold problem.

“I’m not a mold expert,” Bush said. “Your fifth grade isn’t a mold expert, and you’re not … I’m not saying it’s mold or not. I don’t know, so don’t jump to the conclusion.”

Warehouses in the Parish of Tangipahoa were closed after hundreds of nursing home residents evacuated there for hurricane Ida … once part of Pess …

James Finn wrote in The Advocate as a member of the Report For America Corps.Please email him JFinn@theadvocate.com Or follow him on Twitter @ RJamesFinn.

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Tangipahoa students are finally back — but their schools still bear the scars of Hurricane Ida | Education Source link Tangipahoa students are finally back — but their schools still bear the scars of Hurricane Ida | Education

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