Houston County Schools re-open Friday as clean up continues

Houston County Schools re-open Friday as clean up continues

Cottonwood, AL (WSFA) - More than a week after Hurricane Michael damaged the Wiregrass, students in Houston County Schools will finally board buses and head back to class.

“We’ve done the majority of clean-up that would affect our students like getting water off the floor and in our classrooms and checking for leaks,” said Superintendent David Sewell.

The powerful storm caused damage to all nine schools and three extra campus sites in the system.

“Ashford Elementary had windows blown out,” said Sewell. “Columbia had trees down.”

But Cottonwood High School was hit the worst.

“The storm took off the roof off the top of our gym and dropped it back in place. We’ve had to put up tarps. It took our visitors' bleachers - turned those over and twisted them. Those won’t be able to be used,” said Lindsey Andrews, Cottonwood High School Assistant Principal.

And that’s just the short list. They also had about 35 to 40 windows blown. When the roof was damaged in the storm, rain poured in and warped the gym floor.

Superintendent Sewell says schools will be safe for students to return tomorrow, but the work to get facilities back to normal will be ongoing and costly.

He says he’s still working to get total damage estimates for the system, but it could be around 750,000 dollars.

When classes start Friday, the buildings won’t be the same - but there is a feeling in the community of just being happy to get things back to what they remember before the storm.

“Talking to some of the children. I think they’re ready to get back and get back to some kind of normal,” said Ken Hamilton, Cottonwood Mayor.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.