Many Midlands schools will keep their doors closed for a third consecutive day, and others are cancelling classes for the week, in light of the weekend’s historic flood events.
All Midlands public schools in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties are closed Wednesday – except Lexington 3, which will operate on normal schedule, and Lexington 4, which will operate on a two-hour delay. Among private schools closing Wednesday are Heathwood Hall, Hammond, Ben Lippen, Glenforest and St. Peter’s.
In addition to closing Wednesday, Richland 1 and Richland 2 put out a joint announcement that the districts would shutter schools for the rest of the week, saying dangerous travel conditions for school buses and uncertain water services drove the decision.
“More than 50,000 students and 7,900 employees attend school or work in the two districts. Placing that number of individuals on the road during this time of recovery would place an undue burden on the county’s damaged infrastructure,” said Karen E. York, spokeswoman for Richland 1.
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Other public school officials say the decisions about closings are being made day to day. Most district spokespeople say inspections at their schools so far have revealed little if any damage. The biggest concern, most say, is road safety.
Heathwood Hall also announced that it would be closed for the week. A Tuesday email to parents said while there has been a significant amount of flooding around and near campus, the campus appears dry and in good condition. However, the road leading to campus still is inaccessible.
Many schools also are working to help those affected by floods. In Lexington-Richland 5, for example, a District Five Flood Victims Fund has been established, and Heathwood Hall and Hammond are among other schools reaching out to those in need of help.
Below is a list of known school closures and/or delays:
LEXINGTON 3: classes will resume Wenesday, Oct. 7.
LEXINGTON 4: classes will resume Wenesday, Oct. 7. on a 2-hour delay.
LEXINGTON-RICHLAND 5: Schools in Chapin, Irmo, Harbison, Dutch Fork & St. Andrews are cancelled for Wednesday, Oct. 7. The rest of the week, TBD.
KERSHAW COUNTY: School has been cancelled for Wednesday, Oct. 7. The rest of the week, TBD.