Flooding Causing Problems For Chouteau Schools

Thursday, May 7th 2009, 9:25 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

CHOUTEAU, OK -- Classes are canceled again Friday for students in Chouteau.

Heavy rain caused flooding, which led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

No matter where you look, no matter what classroom you're in, the Chouteau school buildings are empty of students and full of dehumidifiers.

"I've had all kinds of catastrophes, but this one I say has to be the most extensive I've ever dealt with," said Stan Horn, school director of operations.

Mayes County got more than seven inches of rain in a short amount of time. Despite trying, no one could keep the water out.

"Carpets were wet," Horn said. "There was water coming in at all angles. The early childhood building over here, the front awning on it was full of water and about to fall in."

The water soaked everything and damaged drywall in just about every room.

Restoration crews detected some mold spores but jumped on it early. They say it will be cleaned up before classes resume on campus in a week.

Every building on campus was impacted by the flooding. Water was getting in everywhere, through the ceilings, through the doors and entryway, even windows.

In the gym, restoration crews are doing what they can to try to save the gym's hardwood floor.

"Anything that is wet, we're trying to get dried out or removed," said Robert Williams with Burggraf Restoration.

Not only did the water cause a huge mess, but it also made a mess of the tail end of the school year.

Classes are canceled but will resume Monday at nearby First Baptist and Word Fellowship churches.

"We'll be drying for three or four or five days anyway," Williams said.

Restoration work will continue round the clock to get the moisture out, so students can get back in.

Despite canceling classes Thursday and Friday, Chouteau won't have to extend the school year.

School leaders say the district has already met the state department of education requirement of 1080 instructional hours.