Flash flooding closes four NEMO school districts Wednesday
LEWIS COUNTY, Mo. (WGEM) -
The overnight flash flooding forced many northeast Missouri school districts to close Wednesday as rural roads and even some highways were covered with water.
Four school districts in Missouri; Lewis County C-1, Knox County R-1, Canton R-V, and North Shelby, canceled school Wednesday as much of the area saw nearly 7 inches of rain overnight, making it hard for school buses to pass through flooded roads safely.
"This is my ninth year in charge of making school cancellations and this is the first time I've ever canceled for rain or flooding," Lewis County C-1 Superintendent John French said.
French says the decision to cancel school came after learning all 16 of the districts bus routes had water covered roads.
"The roads there was just too much rain over them," French said. "We have several of our roads that have 18-24 inches of water running over them."
Lewis County C-1 Transportation Director Jackie Kennedy says with many gravel roads flooded, and Highway 156 underwater, putting kids on buses was a risk she didn't want to take.
"Not even to have the highway to go and back track to even come around a different way which we do in a lot of circumstances, we basically just didn't know where we were going to be able to get to if at all," Kennedy said.
French says Wednesday's flood cancellation will use up one of the district's six inclement weather days already built in to the calendar.
French hopes the flooding will subside so school can resume Thursday.
"A lot of the bus drivers will get together and plan out the best options," French said. "But in some of the cases, the roads will be so wet that turn around spots will be hard for buses to turn around because we've got a lot of gravel roads and the ground will be mushy we'll get buses stuck if we're not careful."
French hopes to make the decision whether or not to cancel school again Thursday sometime Wednesday evening.