Monday, August 29, 2011

Worcester Public Schools post-Irene

This update came in last night from Brian Allen:

Power Outages:  During the height of the storm, there were 5 schools without power.  As of this writing, Flagg Street and Nelson Place continue not to have power.  These are National Grid  issues and will be restored when power is restored to these neighborhoods.  The Quadrant Managers will work with these two principals for contingency plans for staff for tomorrow if the power outages continue through the morning.

Wind Damage:  There are multiple sites with tree or limbs that have fallen during the day.  None of these issues will impact the opening of school for staff tomorrow.  The clean-up of the debris will be addressed through the Facilities Department during the day tomorrow.  No other wind damage (roofs or other building materials) were seen during our site visits or have been reported by our building custodians.  We will continue to inspect the facilities for any damage over the next several days starting tomorrow morning as daylight returns and the weather conditions improve.

Water/Flooding Issues:  There are a number of schools are experiencing water infiltration issues.  As of this writing, Burncoat High has experienced the most water infiltration today with fairly extensive flooding in the basement area of the D-Wing.  There was also water infiltration at the new North High and this is already being addressed with the contractor.   All other schools had isolated areas of water infiltration and all of these areas should be addressed by end of this evening. 

Given the status of our facilities as of this writing, there does not appear to be any reason to alter the first staff reporting day of school tomorrow. 

We had great cooperation and working relationship with the city-side throughout the day.  As you know, we were able to assist the city by opening WTHS as a Red Cross shelter location from approximately 6:00pm last evening through 6:00pm this evening.  The emergency shelter operations have ended. 

Although there is still some clean-up to occur, we are generally fortunate with the storm weakening before reaching this area. 

I want to thank the tremendous work to Jim Bedard, Jack Navin and the three facilities workers for their site visits, running pumps and generators throughout the day; and to the building custodian staff for their quick response to the buildings to quickly restore these buildings to make them available for the first day of staff reporting tomorrow morning.  The team was well prepared to respond to this weather event. 

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