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Water Woes Keeping Some Texas Schools Closed

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Flooding at Riddle Street School for the Gifted in McKinney. (credit: Riddle Street School)

Flooding at Riddle Street School for the Gifted in McKinney. (credit: Riddle Street School)

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Last Monday North Texas was bracing for a bitter blast of cold. The winter storm included sleet, ice and snow. As we prepare to go through it all again, some area schools have yet to clean up the mess dealt them by the first storm.

Eight-year-old Savannah is home from school, again. “It’s definitely hard ‘cause there’s only so much you can do inside,” her mother, Stacy Earwood, said.

After four snow days last week, the sun is finally out. Despite the warm rays, North Joshua Elementary in Burleson is still closed. “I thought the ice is done,” explained mother Ray Dane. “Why are we out another day?” she asked. “That makes a whole week now.”

There’s good reason why Joshua Elementary has shuttered its doors. According to the district, a pipe in the sprinkler system burst in the library and flooding parts of the school.

The superintendent told CBS 11 News that lots of books were lost and major repairs will have to be done to some walls, in addition to replacing carpet.

Joshua Elementary isn’t the only campus under water. CBS 11 News was there as crews at Dowell Elementary in McKinney repaired a broken water main. The flood also shut down that school

And at the Riddle Street School for the Gifted, also in McKinney, a pair of broken pipes filled classrooms with up to four feet of water.

“We lost all the materials and most of the ceiling and the walls,” said Bhoona Srinivasas, with Riddle Street School.

In fact, the damage at the Riddle School is so extensive that administrators expect to have to move students off campus for the next three weeks.

Experts say frozen pipes don’t always end with flooding. Most of the time it’s not until the ice starts to melt, and water starts to flow again, that you realize the damage is there.

So as area schools rush to make repairs parents are left waiting. “What can I do, but let her go bonkers?” Earwood asked jokingly.

State law requires all Texas public schools to hold at least 180 days of class each school year. The recent school cancellations mean most districts in our area will fall short and those schools will either try to receive a waiver or add extra days to the school year.

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