UPDATE: School cancelled Friday, Superintendent releases statement

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UPDATE: School cancelled Friday, Superintendent releases statement

Government teacher and debate coach Joseph Collatos walks down the hallway by the back entrance where a wet floor sign still stood from early on in the day.

Government teacher and debate coach Joseph Collatos walks down the hallway by the back entrance where a wet floor sign still stood from early on in the day.

Stephen Green

Government teacher and debate coach Joseph Collatos walks down the hallway by the back entrance where a wet floor sign still stood from early on in the day.

Stephen Green

Stephen Green

Government teacher and debate coach Joseph Collatos walks down the hallway by the back entrance where a wet floor sign still stood from early on in the day.

By Angie Rodriguez, Caney Creek High School

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UPDATE: Conroe ISD has announced that schools will remain closed for the next few days. They will reopen Monday, Sept. 23.

After road conditions worsened this morning, Conroe ISD has decided to keep schools closed to ensure that students and staff are safe. The extra day will allow for facilities to be cleaned and restored before having students attend their classes. After-school activities for Friday have not been cancelled yet, but a decision will be made by noon Friday.

“Our first priority is to keep students and staff safe, and, after learning of the rapid deterioration of road conditions along with losing power at several of our schools, the decision was made to cancel school despite the time being much later than our standard cancellation window,” Superintendent Dr Curtis Null said.  “As a district, we made the best decision we could at the time for student and staff safety. We apologize for the inconvenience, disruption, and worry that may have resulted from making a late decision to cancel schools, but we knew it was the right thing to do for the safety of student and staff based on what was taking place in terms of of the unprecedented heavy rainfall and quickly deteriorating road conditions.”


ORIGINAL: Part of Caney Creek High School flooded this morning after district administrators cancelled school about 20 minutes before school was to start.

Conroe ISD closed the district by an announcement at 6:48 a.m. CCHS begins class at 7:12 a.m. Tropical Storm Imelda caused intense raining, causing many hallways to flood including the 1100, 1200 and 5500 hallways.

This late announcement left many teachers and students who were already inside trapped until the weather conditions lightened up. Rooms impacted include the copy room, choir, orchestra, daycare, and cosmetology among many others.

Staff members were evacuated by two buses a little before 1 p.m. Some were dropped off at their house and some went to a staging area at Conroe High School.

“Conroe ISD officials have been working with local agencies monitoring the weather over the past several days, even starting as early as 3 a.m. this morning,” Director of Communications for Conroe ISD Sarah Blakelock said. “In the early weather models it didn’t indicate the level of impact we ended up receiving from the storm, and so while the call was made much later than what we typically would’ve liked, it was felt that that was the best decision to make.”

Photo by: Stephen Green
Students played board games that teachers brought out to occupy their time while waiting for safety.

Despite the warning, many students were still on their way to school while the announcement was being made. Senior Andres Velasquez was driving to school at 6 a.m. when he underestimated how high the waters actually were.

“I’ve never driven in high water before,” Velasquez said. “I quickly put (my car) into reverse and got out of there, but soon after I realized my whole front end was damaged and my car was starting to give out on me. I called a tow truck driver and I had a fire unit approach me asking if I needed help.”

Sophomore Noah Garza said that his neighborhood looks like “a full-on lake.” The road can’t be seen and he can’t see his front yard because of the water. Garza and his family are worried since these problems didn’t occur with Hurricane Harvey.

Photo by: Joshua Baldwin
Students wait for the weather to die down after being dropped off by a bus before school was canceled.

“There was a rescue team that went through my neighborhood who helped evacuate people with water in their houses,” Garza said. “They asked us if we needed help but we declined because there’s no water in our house right now.”

“The houses around me and in my neighborhood have water in them and our house could be next if the water doesn’t go down in time.”

Staff cars were parked on the sidewalk of the school due to the amount of flooding in the area.

This story was originally published on The Prowler on September 19, 2019.